What is Magic Realism?

Magical realism portrays fantastical events in an otherwise realistic tone. It brings fables, folk tales, and myths into contemporary social relevance. It is a Latin-American narrative strategy that is the inclusion of mythical elements into realistic fiction.

The term Magical Realism was introduced by Franz Roh, a German art critic. He is said to be the father of the term as he coined it.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MAGICAL REALISM

  • Real-world setting.
  • Fantasy element.
  • Metafiction.
  • Shifting POVs.
  • Political critique.
  • Authorial reticence.

Magical realism is all about mixing fantasy with mundane life.

BOOKS WITH MAGICAL REALISM

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN BY SALMAN RUSHDIE

Midnight’s Children is a historical fiction novel which deals with magic realism. Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India’s independence, and found himself mysteriously “handcuffed to history” by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times.

Rushdie fuses magic and reality in this book. BUT NOW

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the town of Macondo. The novel is often cited as one of the supreme achievements in literature. Magic realism is the mystical village of Macondo. BUY NOW

THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS BY ISABEL ALLENDE

Class struggle is the major theme in The House of the Spirits. It supports the view of peasants. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, it is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate.

BUY NOW

KAFKA ON THE SHORE BY MURAKAMI

Kafka on the Shore is powered by a teenage boy,  Kafka who runs away from home. The theme here is deeply concerned with the nature consciousness.

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

– Murakami

BUY NOW

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

In Love in the Time of Cholera, for example, Fermina might sense the flesh and blood presence of her dead husband – and then go about her day. This is magical realism, it fuses along with everyday lives.

“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.” BUY NOW

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

The Night Circus is a terrific example of magical realism. The story takes place in an ahistorical Victorian London and follows the lives of two young magical proteges. These magicians can perform actual magic and not just feats of illusion.

BUY NOW

Magical realism authors deliberately leave magic realism unexplained to normalize and reinforce that it is part of everyday life. Critique. Authors often use magical realism to offer a tacit judgment of society, most notably politics and the society.

A most common question is, is Harry Potter a magical realism novel? The Harry Potter novels comprise elements of magical realism although is not commonly called a creation of the magic realism genre.

Thank you!