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 Post subject: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:26 am 
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or theory!
I'm starting to research some stuff for my thesis and a lot of both the general themes of my work and the aesthetic theory i'm reading is intersecting with magical realism as a genre and I realized i've only really read the "classics" (like, ALL of marquez, most of rushdie, about half of murakami, the tin drum, like water for chocolate, everything is illuminated, the brief wondrous life of oscar wao, even cowgirls get the blues, how I became a nun etc)

I want to know what you guys suggest!! I need to be more well-read than I am in this genre!

???

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:53 am 
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Pynchon is my favorite. I'm not sure how he fits into the genre since I'm not all that familiar with it--maybe on the fringes. Gravity's Rainbow is pretty amazing and full of lunacy. I also really enjoyed Remains of the Day, which is a lot campier and lighter. (GR can be a slog in places)

Have you read the Borges short story, Axolotl? You can find it online if not. I think that might resonate with me more than any other thing I've ever read. (And I don't like short fiction as a rule)

Not Borges, Cortazar. Why do I always mix those two up? Here is a link: http://pinpointing.wordpress.com/2007/05/02/axolotl/

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:32 am 
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Angela Carter (I read The Bloody Chamber with my students and they are repulsed and enthralled in equal measure)? I also really liked The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende, but it's a long time since I read it.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:35 am 
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The Night Circus and The Ladies of Grace Adieu (more so than JS&MrN) are both historical magical realism. Like Water for Chocolate is kind of almost magical melodrama.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:40 am 
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The End Of Mr Y and the Rivers Of London series.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:32 am 
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I love Steven Millhauser. I havent read the one he won the Pulitzer price with.My favourite is a German translated short story collection. Not all of his short stories are amazing but some are just so so so good.

"In "A Visit," one of my favorite stories from Steven Millhauser's 1998 book, "The Knife Thrower," the narrator visits a distant friend and discovers that he is married to a large frog. Uncertain how to react, the visitor acts as if nothing is out of the ordinary."

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:19 am 
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I think Jeanette Winterson's novels could be called magical realism. But she's sort of her own thing. I especially love Lighthousekeeping, but actually all of her books that I've read are fantastic. Ali Smith is another writer in a similar sort of vein, but her work veers away from magical realism more. Something like Hotel World or The Accidental are probably the most fitting in that genre from her.

I'm trying to think of other writers, but coming up blank for now. I was thinking Marion May Campbell, but you might have a hard time finding her books (she's an Australian writer who isn't really well-known outside of academic literary sort of circles), and she's more... experimental? than magical realist.
Oh, oh! Actually, if you can find stuff by Gail Jones (another Australian author), she's got some good books too. I remember liking Sixty Lights. But yeah, might also be hard to come by... She was a lecturer for an English subject I took at uni about 10 years ago. Later I found out that she's a friend's aunt. That's Perth for you, I guess!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:03 am 
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I reccomend Ngugi wa Thiong'o, whose Wizard of the Crow is amazing and wonderful. He also writes some critical theory, which might be useful.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:34 pm 
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Jeanette Winterson is magical realism for sure - as well as sort of her own thing. My favorite is Written On The Body.

I'd also suggest Icelander by Dustin Long (especially fun if you're familiar with the Bay Area), Alva and Irva: The Twins Who Saved A City by Edward Carey, and anything by Italo Calvino.

I feel like Margo Lanagan might be classified as magical realism as well - but even if she's not, she's a good read.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:43 pm 
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yess!! these are so good! thank you guys!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:59 pm 
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I can't see that anyone has mentioned Louise Erdrich yet. She's got a whole set of interrelated novels but they all stand alone as well.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Two more Jeanette Winterson books that I loved: Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles
and Art and Lies.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:46 am 
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Memory and Dream by Charles deLint! I read it a few years ago and I thought of you the entire time I was reading it. I've read some of his other stuff too and it's also really good, but I think that one in particular was written for you.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:00 am 
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Oh and anything by Francesca Lia Block. I'd probably say start with her older stuff, the Weetzie Bat series (look for the title Dangerous Angels which contains all the original 5 Weetzie Bat books in one volume, or just start with the first one which is called Weetzie Bat). It's been a long time since I read them but I think Echo and Violet & Claire were some of my favorites.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:12 pm 
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"The House of Spirits" by Isabel Allende is lovely, as is most of her work. I also enjoy "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:16 am 
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Oh yes, Alice Hoffman definitely - I'd forgotten about her! Seventh Heaven is the first one I read and still my favourite.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:09 am 
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A million times yes to Alice Hoffman! Along with The Ladies of Grace Adieu, try Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, also by Susanna Clarke. There are others that I love (this is my favorite genre), but I need to get ready for work! Will report back later.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:22 pm 
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I just picked up some Helen Oyeyemi and remembered why I love her work so much. She says in an interview that she doesn't consider her work magical realism, but I think it depends on your interpretation of the term. I think it could definitely fall into that category. Anyway, I really love her books and now need to go read them all. Highly recommended!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:54 am 
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A Trip to the Stars, A Tale for the Time Being, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (although it might be more surrealism), Little Star of Bela Lua, and you could check out Milorad Pavic but I couldn't get through his.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:08 am 
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This thread is giving me some great new books to read! I love magical realism but I always forget about it as it's own genre, so thanks for the reminder!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favorite magical realist novels?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:31 am 
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Maybe it's too obvious but since I didn't see him mentioned yet, Bulgakov?


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