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If you are confused by the term ‘magic realism’, you’re not alone. The wide variety of novels and short stories all claiming to be magic realism can be bewildering, ranging as they do across romance, family saga, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, surrealist, fabulist, slipstream, absurdist and weird fiction.
How can this be?
An elderly writer once gave me this advice. "You can't write that magic realism unless you've lived it too."
I've often thought a magic realist must be like the painter, Marc Chagall, who said, "I live my life beside the pond with one foot stuck in, and the other planted on solid ground." That certainly suggests Chagall moves effortlessly from our realistic dimension, which we share, to a more personal, unconscious level where inspiration and creativity lie.
What is Magical Realism?
Maggie Ann Bowers in her book Magic(al) Realism, pg.3 defines it as something that ¨relies most of all upon the matter-of-fact, realist tone of its narrative when presenting magical happenings." Famous authors of magical realism include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salmon Rushdie, Isabel Allende, Toni Morrison, and Arundhati Roy.