Magic(al) Realism

By Maggie Ann Bowers

Series Editor: John Drakakis

© 2004 – Routledge

160 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415268547
pub: 2004-09-23
US Dollars$24.95
Hardback: 9780415268530
pub: 2004-09-23
US Dollars$115.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Bestselling novels by Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a multitude of others have enchanted us by blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Their genre of writing has been variously defined as 'magic', 'magical' or 'marvellous' realism and is quickly becoming a core area of literary studies. This guide offers a first step for those wishing to consider this area in greater depth, by:

  • exploring the many definitions and terms used in relation to the genre
  • tracing the origins of the movement in painting and fiction
  • offering an historical overview of the contexts for magic(al) realism
  • providing analysis of key works of magic(al) realist fiction, film and art.

This is an essential guide for those interested in or studying one of today's most popular genres.


'[Bower's] overall purpose is "to guide the non-expert through the minefield of terms, to identify the origins of the terms and concepts in art, literature and film and to introduce readers to a range of innovative and engaging fictions". All of this she achieves: the text is easily understood without being simplistic, and the glossary, though short, is clear and very helpful.' British Bulletin of Publications

'What renders Bower's Magic(al) Realism such a valuable and comprehensive introduction is that in addition to literature, she also considers artefacts from other fields of cultural production … Bower's analysis of magical realism also proves exceptional in that she repeatedly draws attention to the importance of the cultural location of the audience in receiving a work as magic realist.' - Wasafiri

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Origins of Magic(al) Realism 2. Delimiting the Terms 3. Locations of the Magic(al) Realism 4. Transgressive Variants of Magical Realism 5. Cross-cultural variants of Magical realism 6. Magic(al) Realism and Cultural Productions 7. The Future of Magic(al) Realism Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author/Editor

Maggie Ann Bowers teaches American and Canadian literature at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She has published numerous articles on contemporary American and Canadian authors, and is the co-editor of Convergences and Interferences (2002).

About the Series

The New Critical Idiom

The New Critical Idiom is an invaluable series of introductory guides designed to meet the needs of today's students grappling with the complexities of modern critical terminology. Each book in the series provides:

  • A clear, explanatory guide to the use (and abuse) of the term
  • An original and distinctive overview by a leading literary and cultural critic
  • Helpful definitions of the boundaries between the literary and non-literary
  • Basic guidance for the introductory reader in how the term relates to the larger field of cultural representation

With a strong emphasis on clarity, lively debate and the widest possible breadth of examples, The New Critical Idiom is an indispensable guide to key topics in literary studies.

Learn more…

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