Magical Realism

The Magical Realism Collection highlights narratives that present magical or supernatural elements in a realistic way. Often challenging literary conventions, these selections situate elements of fantasy, such as time travel or the ability to communicate with animals, in otherwise believable settings. This Collection features titles from authors who frequently employ magical realism in their narratives, such as Gabriel García Márquez and Haruki Murakami.

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: GenderTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Japanese Literature

1Q84 is a novel written by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The book was first published in Japanese in three volumes and released in 2009 and 2010, ahead of an English translation published in 2011. Set in 1984 in Tokyo, the story concerns an assassin who stumbles upon an alternate world she refers to as 1Q84. There, she becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving an abusive religious cult.This study guide refers to the 2011 edition... Read 1Q84 Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: CommunityTags Magical Realism, Japanese Literature, Surrealism

After Dark was published in 2004 by acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The novel follows protagonist Mari Asai through one night in Tokyo. Mari has run-ins with organized crime, people on the run, and others who do not fit into Tokyo’s often conservative society. After Dark was met with lackluster critical reception, partially due to Murakami’s characteristic ambiguity and apparent lack of an ending; however, others argue that this ambiguity allows readers to interpret events... Read After Dark Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure

An Echo in the Bone (2009) is the seventh novel in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Combining elements of the historical fiction, adventure, fantasy, and romance genres, the series follows the adventures of Claire Randall, a WWII battle nurse who accidentally time travels to 18th-century Scotland and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior. Over the course of 10 planned novels, Gabaldon follows Claire, Jamie, and their family as they navigate fate... Read An Echo in the Bone Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Military / War

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Music, Relationships

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Equality, Self Discovery, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Fantasy, Mythology, Magical Realism, Race / Racism

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Irish Literature, Humor, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire, Arts / Culture, Class, British Literature

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Publication year 1962Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) is the best-known Mexican representative of the Latin American Boom literary movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Alongside South America contemporaries like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar, Fuentes challenged the conventions and expectations of traditional Latin American literature. The Boom generation gained unprecedented popularity in Western Europe and, from there, became globally renowned. The trend is most often characterized by experimental forms and politically engaged content.Born in Panama... Read Aura Summary


Publication year 1968Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Language, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Poverty, Latin American Literature

Revered Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez first published “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”—a work of magical realism—in 1968. Gregory Rabassa translated the short story into English in 1971, and all quotes in this guide refer to this edition.The story begins as a man named Pelayo kills crabs that heavy rains have washed into his house. In the muddy yard, Pelayo finds that something else has also washed up: an old man who cannot... Read A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Magical Realism, Asian Literature

Publication year 1952Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1983Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: ClassTags Magical Realism, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Business / Economics, Class, Latin American Literature, Post Modernism

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published in 1987. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Inspired by the real-life story of a runaway African American enslaved woman named Margaret Garner, who killed her own daughter to prevent her capture and enslavement, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a runaway enslaved woman who takes her daughter’s life in the same manner. This study guide, which addresses physical... Read Beloved Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Blackbird House (2004) by bestselling author Alice Hoffman is the story of a two-hundred-year-old house on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and the generations of inhabitants that have occupied it over the course of its lengthy history. The house is located on a small farm, and Hoffman tells a series of short stories that are linked together by their shared location within Blackbird House and on the farm property. The book begins with the British occupation... Read Blackbird House Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism

Blended is a 2018 novel by veteran young adult fiction writer and lifelong educator Sharon M. Draper. In it, she explores the impact of both racism and divorce on adolescents through the vehicle of a precocious and talented 11-year-old, Isabella Badia Thornton, who narrates the novel. Izzy struggles with her sense of identity; her father is Black, her mother White. That struggle deepens as she experiences first the impact of her parents’ divorce and then... Read Blended Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Bless Me, Ultima is a novel by American author Rudolfo Anaya (1937-2020). Published in 1972 by independent Chicanx publishing house TQS Publications, it is one of the first literary accounts of Chicanx culture to attain widespread acclaim in the United States. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account based on Ayana’s experience of coming of age in post-World War II New Mexico. Anaya explores themes of the Multiplicity within Chicanx Identity, Catholicism, Innocence Versus the Power... Read Bless Me, Ultima Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Children's Literature

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Bone Gap is a young adult novel by Laura Ruby. It features magical realism, meaning that the setting is realistic with fantastical elements. There are also mystery and crime elements. The novel is set in rural Bone Gap, Illinois, and is told from the third-person omniscient perspective. The narrator is all-seeing, knowing everything about the characters and events.The story follows Finn, an 18-year-old man. He is the only witness to the abduction of a beautiful... Read Bone Gap Summary


Publication year 1960Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: FameTags Magical Realism, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Latin American Literature

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionTags Magical Realism

Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring was published in 1998. The science fiction novel was the winner of several awards that include the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest, the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Set after the Riots in Toronto that splintered the city into the impoverished center and wealthier surrounding suburbs, the novel follows the spiritual and personal journey of Ti-Jeanne, an... Read Brown Girl in the Ring Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: Art, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Mental HealthTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Romance, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Relationships: Family, Society: CommunityTags Magical Realism, Romance, Fantasy, Food

Chocolat by Joanne Harris was first published in 1991. It is in the magical realism genre, presenting a realistic, recognizable world but with magical or fantastical elements, blurring the lines between realism and fantasy. Chocolat follows Vianne, a single mother who arrives in a small French village and opens a chocolate shop despite opposition from the local priest. Many of the villagers find new experiences and connections in her indulgent, magical chocolaterie. Chocolat won multiple... Read Chocolat Summary


Publication year 1981Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a 1981 novella by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Told in non-chronological order and in journalistic fashion by an unnamed narrator, it pieces together the events leading up to and after the murder of Santiago Nasar by Pedro and Pablo Vicario. The novella has been adapted several times as a film and also as a Broadway musical.This guide uses the 2014 Penguin Books edition, translated by Gregory Rabassa.Content Warning:... Read Chronicle of a Death Foretold Summary


Publication year 1957Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Classic Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Magical Realism

Written by Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine is a collection of connected short stories that are loosely based on the author’s memories of his own childhood in upstate Illinois; as such, the narrative uses the nostalgic mystique of summer to evoke the wonders, adventures, and mysteries of growing up. As the first volume in the Green Town trilogy, which also includes Farewell Summer and Something Wicked This Way Comes, this coming-of-age story includes elements of fantasy... Read Dandelion Wine Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Grief / Death, Relationships, Depression / Suicide, Latin American Literature, Surrealism

Daytripper is a graphic novel written and illustrated by comic book artists Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá. Originally published in 2010 as a comic book series by Vertigo, the collected series was published as a completed book in 2011. Daytripper won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series. Bá has also worked on popular comic series such as Umbrella Academy and Casanova. Both Moon and Bá are twins, and they sometimes refer to themselves... Read Daytripper Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Race, Relationships: Mothers, Society: ImmigrationTags Historical Fiction, Latin American Literature, Magical Realism

Dreaming in Cuban is the debut novel by Cuban-American author Cristina Garcia, first published in 1992. It takes place in both Cuba and the United States, focusing on three generations of a single family. The novel’s focus is on the women of the family, beginning with matriarch Celia del Pino, before shifting to her daughters Lourdes and Felicia, and finally her granddaughter Pilar. Primarily written in the third person, it also shifts into first person... Read Dreaming in Cuban Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Grief / Death, Race / Racism

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Magical Realism

Elsewhere is a coming-of-age story and work of magical realism—a genre in which fantastical elements (e.g. talking animals) are woven into an otherwise ordinary setting. First published in 2005, it was writer Gabrielle Zevin’s first novel for a YA audience, and was a 2006 Bank Street Best Children’s Book; it is also an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. All page numbers in this guide refer to the Farrar, Straus, and Giroux edition. Plot SummaryElsewhere begins... Read Elsewhere Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Romance, Latin American Literature

First published in Spanish in 1987, Eva Luna is a novel written by celebrated Chilean writer Isabel Allende and later translated into English by Margaret Sayers Peden the following year. The story is set in an unnamed South American country believed to be an amalgamation of Chile and Venezuela. The eponymous Eva Luna narrates the epic story of her life against a backdrop inspired by the sociopolitical changes in South America from the mid-1940s to... Read Eva Luna Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Music, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Relationships: GrandparentsTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Magical Realism

Fablehaven was written by Brandon Mull and first published in 2006. It is the first in a series about an ecological preserve for magical creatures. In the novel, middle-school-aged siblings Kendra and Seth take a trip to their grandparents’ land in rural Connecticut, which they soon realize is hiding magic of all types. The siblings explore the magical world they have discovered while learning how to be both brave and responsible.Fablehaven deals with themes concerning... Read Fablehaven Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality, Music, Religion / Spirituality, Race / Racism

Fall on Your Knees (1996), first-time novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald’s ambitious multigenerational family saga set in the early decades of the 20th century, moves from the bleak coastal towns of Canada’s Cape Breton Island to the bustling New York City of the Jazz Era. Recalling both the psychological richness of William Faulkner’s family sagas set in Yoknapatawpha County and the dark passions in the Gothic tales of Flannery O’Connor, Fall on Your Knees follows three very... Read Fall on your Knees Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: MothersTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Psychological Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionTags Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction

Fifteen Dogs (2015) is an allegorical novel by André Alexis. The book is an apologue with a fable-like narrative focused on animals and morality. It is the second of five planned novels exploring love, faith, place, power, and hatred. Fifteen Dogs was the 2017 Canada Reads selection.Plot SummaryIn a Toronto pub, Greek gods Apollo and Hermes debate the merits of humans and their capacity for symbolic language. Apollo, who values neither, bets Hermes that animals... Read Fifteen Dogs Summary


Publication year 1986Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Gender, Identity: RaceTags Magical Realism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism, American Literature

“Fleur” is a magical realist short story by Chippewa American author Louise Erdrich. It was first published in Esquire in 1986 and won an O. Henry Award, a prize for excellence in short story writing. Erdrich expanded on the story and characters in her novel Tracks, published in 1988. This guide, which discusses sexual abuse, uses the version of “Fleur” published in the 2009 collection The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories 1978-2008. The narrator... Read Fleur Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism, LGBTQ, Fantasy

Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, British Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance

Publication year 1993Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: ColonialismTags Magical Realism, American Literature

Thomas King’s novel Green Grass, Running Water (1993) is set in a contemporary First Nations Blackfoot community in Alberta, Canada. The book gained critical acclaim due to its unique structure and King’s combination of oral and written history within a compelling narrative. The novel follows several plotlines, ranging from realist to mythical, and revolves around the broad theme of Indigenous identity in the 20th century. The novel is notable for its use of humor, satire... Read Green Grass, Running Water Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Climate, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Indian Literature, Climate Change

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: MasculinityTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Japanese Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Technology, Existentialism, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Allegory / Fable / Parable, History: Asian

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1990 book for young adults, written by Salman Rushdie. Haroun is the follow-up to Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous by the Ayatollah (a high-ranking Iranian clergyman) at the time, who pronounced a death sentence on the author. As a response to the ayatollah’s decree, Haroun explores themes of free speech, the need for storytelling, and the value of fiction.Plot SummaryThe novel begins with... Read Haroun and the Sea of Stories Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Grandparents, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2021Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Mothers, Self Discovery, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Grandparents, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Published in 2016, Hour of the Bees is a young adult magical realism novel by Lindsay Eagar. Set in contemporary New Mexico, the story follows 12-year-old Carol as she spends the summer on her grandfather’s sheep ranch, helping her family prepare it for sale and helping care for her grandfather, who has dementia. However, her grandfather’s stories of the land’s magic and history cause her to fall in love with it. Hour of the Bees... Read Hour of the Bees Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Grief / Death

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature, Health / Medicine

Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Magical Realism, Post Modernism, Italian Literature, Science / Nature, Arts / Culture, Politics / Government, Sociology

If on a winter’s night a traveler is a 1979 postmodernist novel by Italo Calvino. The dual narrative is composed of two parallel strands: numbered chapters in which the narrator directly describes to the audience the process of reading the book, and titled chapters constructed from hypothetical first chapters of various books that the audience is reading. The innovative novel has been praised by critics and hailed as highly influential.This guide uses the 1998 Vintage... Read If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Magical Realism, Romance, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

I’ll Give You the Sun (2015) is an award-winning novel penned by Jandy Nelson about relationships, art, and destiny. It follows the story of twins Noah and Jude Sweetwine who once shared a close relationship but find themselves barely speaking to each other two years after their mother’s death.Jandy Nelson is an American author who writes young adult fiction. I’ll Give You the Sun is her second novel, which won numerous awards and honors, including... Read I'll Give You the Sun Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, German literature

Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart (2003) is a novel of magical realism—the story takes place in the real world, but magic figures into the plot and character development. Funke went on to write other books in the Inkworld series: Inkspell (2005), and Inkdeath (2007). A fourth, The Colour of Revenge, will be released in October 2023. A movie adaption of Inkheart, produced by Funke, was released in 2008. Inkheart has received numerous literary accolades, including the 2004... Read Inkheart Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Magical Realism, Children's Literature, Humor

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Romance, Magical Realism

Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Italian Literature, History: Asian, History: European

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1923-1985) was originally published in 1972 in Italian and translated into English in 1974. Calvino’s ninth novel, it received a Nebula Novel Award nomination in 1975.According to New York Times reviewer Joseph McElroy, Calvino already had the reputation of being Italy’s “most original storyteller” for his use of fantastical and fabulist motifs to explore philosophical and scientific themes such as evolution (McElroy). Invisible Cities continues this trend by using the... Read Invisible Cities Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Magical Realism, Philosophy

Ishmael is a philosophical novel by Daniel Quinn, published by Bantam/Turner books in 1992. Quinn is a prolific writer specializing in cultural critique, and Ishmael embraces many of the themes that Quinn explores in his other fiction and nonfiction works, such as sustainability and the mythology of human civilization. As a philosophical novel, the work follows a somewhat Socratic dialogue between an unnamed narrator and a telepathic gorilla, Ishmael, using rhetorical conventions to display and... Read Ishmael Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Spanish Literature

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, Animals, Action / Adventure

James and the Giant Peach, by British author Roald Dahl was first published in 1961. This critically acclaimed children’s novel was made into an award-winning film in 1996. Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales and, in addition to writing both children and adult literature, he was a poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. He is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest storytellers and has sold more than 250 million copies of his... Read James And The Giant Peach Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: MasculinityTags Magical Realism, Relationships

Robert Olen Butler’s 1995 short story “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” has been widely reprinted and anthologized. Its themes, which typify Butler's work, include alienation, desire, and the challenges of communicating with others. Butler is a best-selling American author and won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his short story collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which explores the experiences of Vietnamese immigrants in the United States. “Jealous Husband,” however... Read Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fame, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: ClassTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 1956Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Classic Fiction

Hermann Hesse's 1932 short novel The Journey to the East reads much like a trial run for what would be his final novel, The Glass Bead Game, published in 1943. Journey explores themes of service, leadership, the contemplative life, and the difficult tasks historians face—set against the backdrop of a mystic journey whose destination becomes increasingly unclear. The narrator is a man known only as H.H. It is believed that H.H. stands for “Hermann Hesse”... Read Journey to the East Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: PlaceTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, African American Literature

Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Marriage, Self Discovery, Society: WarTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Historical Fiction, Romance, Food, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality

Like Water for Chocolate is the debut novel of Laura Esquivel, published in Mexico in 1989 and then translated into English by Carol and Thomas Christensen. Esquivel has sold over four million copies of the novel worldwide. She is a novelist and active politician serving in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. She collaborated with her husband at the time to adapt the novel into a film in 1992, which was then nominated for a Golden... Read Like Water for Chocolate Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Society: War, Relationships: Fathers, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Grief / Death, American Civil War, Religion / Spirituality, History: U.S., Race / Racism, American Literature

The novel Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, published by Random House in 2017, offers a portrait of an American legend in mourning, surrounded by a poignant but funny cast of 166 characters. It is Saunders’s debut novel, though he has been a notable author of short story collections for decades. The novel won the prestigious Man Booker Prize and was a New York Times best seller.Set in 1862, Lincoln in the Bardo is... Read Lincoln in the Bardo Summary


Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionTags Magical Realism

Gloria Naylor’s 1988 novel, Mama Day, explores the history and folklore of Willow Springs, a mysterious fictional town located on an island somewhere between South Carolina and Georgia. Readers quickly get the impression that there is more to Willow Springs than meets the eye, and the novel continues to expand on this liminality, or feeling of being in between, that characterizes the town. The point of view repeatedly shifts between three characters: Ophelia “Cocoa” Day... Read Mama Day Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Western, Magical Realism, American Literature

Mean Spirit (1990) is the first novel by Chickasaw author Linda Hogan. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991, it was well-reviewed and established Hogan as an important Indigenous author. The novel tells the story of what came to be known as the Osage murders, a string of killings in Oklahoma’s Osage country after oil was discovered on Osage land. The murders were ultimately discovered to have been the result of not only... Read Mean Spirit Summary


Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: FamilyTags Magical Realism, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Poverty, Class, History: World, Religion / Spirituality

Midnight’s Children is a 1981 magical realism novel by British American novelist Salman Rushdie. The story follows Saleem, a child born at the moment of India’s independence who possesses strange powers. The novel won many awards, including the Booker of Bookers Prize, which was awarded to the best all-time winner of the Booker Prize on the award’s 40th anniversary. Midnight’s Children has been adapted for theater, radio, and film. This guide uses the 2006 Vintage... Read Midnight's Children Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: CommunityTags Magical Realism, Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Gender / Feminism, Relationships

Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Gender / Feminism

Nights at the Circus is an adult fantasy novel by British author Angela Carter first published in 1984. It takes place in 1899 and follows protagonist Jack Walser, a journalist investigating the mystery of Sophie Fevvers, a part-woman, part-swan who performs as an aeraliste at the popular Colonel Kearney’s circus. The book was critically acclaimed upon publication and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 1984, as well as a nomination for... Read Nights at the Circus Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Magical Realism, Parenting

Nothing to See Here is a 2019 novel by New York Times best-selling author and short story writer Kevin Wilson. The novel, which is set in Tennessee, includes a dedication to fellow Tennessean writer Ann Patchett. This is not Wilson’s first work about unusual characters and their families. He achieved success with his first novel, The Family Fang, and another called Perfect Little World. In these works, Wilson developed the prototype for the unique brand... Read Nothing to See Here Summary


Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionTags Magical Realism

Not Wanted on the Voyage is a 1984 novel set prior to and during the event known as “the Flood”. However, the setting is not in accordance with the traditional Judeo-Christian telling. Instead, it is heavily steeped in magical realism, including unconventional interpretations of mythical creatures, oblique references to alchemy and arcane magic, and a plethora of conflicting anachronisms that lead the reader to frequently revise their understanding of the world. However unusual the world... Read Not Wanted on the Voyage Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Magical Realism

Set in the seaport city of Santa María de Antigua, in colonial Spanish Colombia, at the end of the 18th century, Gabriel García Márquez'snovel Of Love and Other Demons tells the tragic story of Sierva María de Todos Los Ángeles. The only daughter of the American-born Marquis de Casalduero, Sierva lives with her father the Marquis, and her mother, Bernarda, in a decaying mansion.Neither parent takes an interest in their daughter, so she's raised by... Read Of Love And Other Demons Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1967Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Society: War, Values/Ideas: FateTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Classic Fiction

One Hundred Years of Solitude, first published in Spanish in 1967 as Cien años de soledad, is an internationally renowned work of literature by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. The most highly regarded English version of the book is Gregory Rabassa’s translation, which was first published in 1970. This guide uses citations from the HarperPerennial Modern Classics Edition, which was released in 2006. García Márquez became the fourth Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize... Read One Hundred Years of Solitude Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Romance, Magical Realism, Travel Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: GenderTags Romance, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Magical Realism

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Self Discovery, Life/Time: The Future, Relationships: MothersTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: FoodTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Children's Literature, Animals, Food, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Grief / Death, Relationships

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, African American Literature, Gender / Feminism, Magical Realism, Race / Racism, Love / Sexuality

Toni Morrison’s novel Paradise was published in 1997, just a few years after she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. According to Morrison, it is the last book of a trilogy that includes Beloved and Jazz. Morrison is an esteemed American novelist, having also received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1998) and the Coretta Scott King Award for Authors (2005), among other awards. She was educated at Howard University and Cornell University, and... Read Paradise Summary


Publication year 1955Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Latin American Literature, Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Pedro Paramo is a 1955 novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. In the novel, Juan Preciado returns to his mother’s hometown after her death to seek out his father. Rather than his father, he discovers a town populated by ghosts and traumatic memories. Pedro Paramo has been hailed as one of the most important novels of the 20th century and a vital foundation stone in the genre of magical realism. This guide uses the 2014... Read Pedro Paramo Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Magical Realism, Health / Medicine, History: Asian, Gender / Feminism, Parenting, Asian Literature

Translated from the Korean by Chi-young Kim, Please Look After Mom (2008) by Kyung-sook Shin is an international work of best-selling fiction. When 69-year-old So-nyo Park goes missing one Saturday outside Seoul Station, her disappearance sets in motion a desperate search not only for where So-nyo might be but for who So-nyo was to her shocked and confused family members. One by one, So-nyo’s family comes to terms with the fact that they didn’t know... Read Please Look After Mom Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: IndigenousTags Magical Realism

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Romance

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Life/Time: The PastTags Magical Realism, Humor

Reservation Blues tells the story of Coyote Springs, a Spokane Indian rock band. The band is founded on a reservation, slowly gathers fans, and begins to play shows. Coyote Springs is given the chance to audition for a major record company in New York City, but, ultimately, the band does not succeed. The book combines traditional narrative with a mixture of other narrative techniques, including newspaper articles, song lyrics, interviews, and excerpts from journals. Together... Read Reservation Blues Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Middle Eastern Literature

Shadow and Bone (2012) by Leigh Bardugo is a young adult fantasy adventure and romance novel. It is Bardugo’s debut novel and the first book in her Shadow and Bone trilogy, also called the Grisha trilogy. Inspired by 19th-century Tsarist Russia, Bardugo creates a darkly magical world characterized by strange armies, extreme wealth and poverty, and personifications of light and shadow. The novel was a New York Times best seller, a Los Angeles Times best... Read Shadow and Bone Summary


Publication year 1983Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: Politics & Government, Society: NationTags Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Indian Literature

Written by Salman Rushdie in 1983, Shame takes place in a fictionalized version of the city of Quetta in Pakistan. Although several characters are based on historic Pakistani politicians, the novel incorporates elements of magical realism to create a richly nuanced fable whose philosophical message transcends the boundaries of the ordinary. The novel explores themes of Shame Versus Shamelessness, the partition of Pakistan through Partition and Duality, and The Systemic Misogyny of Patriarchal Societies. Shame... Read Shame Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Society: ColonialismTags Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Relationships

Publication year 1978Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: CommunityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Education

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FathersTags Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Humor

Slam (2007) is a young adult novel written by Nick Hornby. It tells the story of Sam Jones, a skateboarder who finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant when they are both 16 years old—his mother’s age when she had him. The novel explores themes such as Navigating Teenage Parenthood, How a Few Seconds Can Change Everything, and Relationships, Wisdom, and Growing Up.Nick Hornby is a renowned English writer known for his humorous fiction about... Read Slam Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, LGBTQ

Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Philosophy, Scandinavian Literature, Magical Realism, Science / Nature, Sociology, Religion / Spirituality

Sophie's World is a young adult book by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder. The book follows main character Sophie, a young girl who is fourteen years old and living with her parents in Norway. Sophie's life changes dramatically when she receives a series of strange postcards, which ask her large, existential questions about the world around her. Each day, Sophie receives a postcard, and in the evenings she receives a package from a man named Alberto... Read Sophie's World Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Canadian Literature

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: ObjectsTags Humor, Satire, Magical Realism, Absurdism, Fantasy

Publication year 2002Genre Short Story Collection, FictionTags Chinese Literature, Asian Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism, Technology, Science / Nature, Religion / Spirituality, Information Age

Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of short stories published in 2002 by the American science fiction and fantasy writer Ted Chiang. The book contains eight stories that belong to science fiction, science fantasy, alternative history, and magic realism genres. Seven of the eight stories appeared in previous publications. In the stories, Chiang explores concepts including the ethics of science, the benefits and dangers of intelligence, and cultural differences in alternate realities... Read Stories of Your Life and Others Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Southern Gothic

Swamplandia! is a 2011 novel by the American author Karen Russell. It is an adaptation of her short story “Ava Wrestles the Alligator,” first published in the Summer 2006 issue of the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story and later collected in her 2006 book of short stories, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A Miami native, Russell uses magical... Read Swamplandia Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Jonathon Auxier’s Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster (2018) is a work of fiction written for middle grade readers. It tells the story of the brave Nan Sparrow, a young chimney sweep who is given the gift of a golem—a protective monster—by her father figure, the Sweep. Nan navigates cruelty and poverty in her journey to achieve a fairer life for herself and her friends, forming a loving pseudo-family along the way... Read Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Disability, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: FateTags Romance, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Relationships, Asian Literature

Originally written in German and published in 2002, Jan-Philipp Sendker’s debut novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, was translated into English by Kevin Wiliarty in 2006. An international bestseller, the novel received the Indies Choice Honor Award for Best Fiction Novel in 2013. In response to such acclaim, Sendker penned a sequel, A Well-Tempered Heart, in 2012. The novel is international in scope—being written by a German journalist who lived in upstate New York, detailing... Read The Art of Hearing Heartbeats Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Community, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel García Márquez debuted in Spain in 1975. The English translation published in 1976. Márquez’s most notable work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 and reflects his distinct magical realist style, an artistic genre first recognized in literature in predominantly Latin American writing during the 1940s. The Autumn of the Patriarch, published seven years later, also features Márquez’s magical style and... Read The Autumn of the Patriarch Summary


Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Society: ColonialismTags Magical Realism, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

The Bone People (1984) by Keri Hulme was the first New Zealand novel to receive the Booker Prize. It also earned a number of other awards, including the 1984 New Zealand Book Award and the Pegasus Award for Maori Literature. A native of Christchurch, Hulme grew up on the South Island. She comes from a large, diverse, multicultural family of English, Scottish, and Maori descent. After finishing high school, the writer began working as a... Read The Bone People Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Fantasy

Publication year 1975Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: ColonialismTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

“The Book of Sand” by Jorge Luis Borges is a short story dealing with humankind’s inability to grasp the infinite, whether in spirituality or in physical reality. Borges is one of the most well-known Latin American authors, as well as one of the most notable postmodernists of the 20th century. Like much of Borges’s work, “The Book of Sand” contains themes and motifs of the infinite, the nature of literature, spirituality, and postcolonial thought. “The... Read The Book of Sand Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, History: Asian

Publication year 1940Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: MasculinityTags Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Humor, Satire, Love / Sexuality, Business / Economics, Relationships, American Literature, Post-War Era

John Collier (1901-1980) is best known for his short stories, many of which are constructed as fantastic parables of modern day life. He also wrote poetry and screenplays, and was a developer for the television show “The Twilight Zone.” “The Chaser” first appeared in his short story collection Fancies and Goodnights, which won the 1952 Edgar Award and the 1952 International Fantasy Award. It is a cautionary parable of love, capitalism, and the wisdom of... Read The Chaser Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Music, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism

Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Latin American Literature

Panamanian-born Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes wrote The Death of Artemio Cruz (La Muerte de Artemio Cruz) in 1962. It was Fuentes’s third novel and established him as a major figure in Latin American literature. The novel belongs to the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, which saw the translation of major works of Latin American writers, such as Julio Cortázar (Argentina) and Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), for circulation in Europe and the United... Read The Death of Artemio Cruz Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Femininity, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, Gender / Feminism, Magical Realism, Jewish Literature, Grief / Death

The Dovekeepers (2011) is a historical fiction novel by Alice Hoffman, set in ancient Israel in 70-73 CE. Infused with magical realism, the book is a dramatized feminist retelling of the Siege of Masada, an event in which 960 Jews resisted the onslaught of Roman forces for nine months. The siege took place in the rugged mountain fortress of Masada and left only seven survivors: two women and five children. In Hoffman’s telling, the narrative... Read The Dovekeepers Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1993Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Magical Realism, Fantasy

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy

The Enchantress of Florence is a 2008 magical-realist novel by Salman Rushdie. The story incorporates many fantastical, folkloric elements as it portrays life in the Mughal Empire and Renaissance Florence in the 16th century. In the novel, a mysterious European man arrives in the Mughal court with a story which can only be told to the emperor. Rushdie described the novel as his most heavily researched work and The Enchantress of Florence was praised by... Read The Enchantress Of Florence Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, African Literature, Poverty, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Written in a style that evokes the oral tradition of storytelling, The Famished Road, by Nigerian writer Ben Okri, follows the peripatetic adventures of Azaro, a young boy who is finding his way amid the poverty and political passions of a newly independent nation. Winner of the prestigious Booker Prize in 1991, the novel presents an allegorical tale of both the pitfalls and the promise latent in the post-colonial moment. Nigeria was one of the... Read The Famished Road Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Aging, Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Relationships: MothersTags Inspirational, Magical Realism, Religion / Spirituality, Grief / Death

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a novel by best-selling writer Mitch Albom. Published in 2003, it sold more than 10 million copies and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2004, the story was adapted into a made-for-television movie starring Jon Voight. The novel follows the story of Eddie, a man who believes his life was unfulfilling until his death brings him answers to the key events in his life... Read The Five People You Meet In Heaven Summary


Publication year 1956Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Classic Fiction, Satire, Grief / Death, Military / War, Magical Realism, Post Modernism

Published in 1956, The Floating Opera is a literary novel by John Barth. Barth’s first novel, The Floating Opera focuses on Todd Andrews as he makes plans to commit suicide in the late 1930s, utilizing first-person nonlinear storytelling and humor to meditate on life and death. Following its publication, the novel was nominated for the National Book Award. Barth has published numerous novels since, becoming a seminal figure in postmodern American literature. Plot SummaryTodd Andrews narrates... Read The Floating Opera Summary


Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Politics / Government

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: GenderTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism, Diversity, Race / Racism, African Literature

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Published in 2013, The Golem and the Jinni is Helene Wecker’s debut novel. As its title implies, the novel follows the story of a Golem named Chava and a Jinni named Ahmad as they navigate the chaotic realities of New York City in 1899 and 1900. Even as they both struggle to hide their true natures and blend into their local communities, they learn to trust each other on the difficult path to reconciling their... Read The Golem and the Jinni Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Relationships

The Grass Dancer (1994) is the debut novel by Susan Power, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. This young adult novel is part of the magical realism genre. Using a nonlinear structure and overlapping narratives, Power slowly pieces together a story that links generations of Sioux families together in a complex and powerful way. The following material was gathered using a first edition copy of the text.Plot SummaryThe Prologue begins with Harley... Read The Grass Dancer Summary


Publication year 1968Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Society: CommunityTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is a short story written by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Originally published in 1968 and titled “El ahogado más hermoso del mundo,” the story is a work of magical realism, a genre that treats magical or fantastical elements as though they were normal, everyday occurrences.Set on a summer day in a small coastal village in South America, the story concerns the villagers’ reaction to the discovery of... Read The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World Summary


Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction

The House of the Spirits (1982) is Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s debut novel. The family saga follows the journey of the Trueba family across three generations. Set in an unnamed Latin American country (widely believed to be Chile), the family’s journey is interwoven with the sociopolitical history of their nation and the events that unfold over the span of half a century.Isabel Allende is one of the world’s most widely read Spanish-language authors. First published... Read The House of the Spirits Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Set in northern Mexico at the end of the nineteenth century, Luis Alberto Urrea’s historical novel, The Hummingbird’s Daughter (2005), follows the life of Teresa Urrea, known as Teresita. The daughter of a wealthy landowner and an impoverished Yaqui Indian, Teresita gains the love and reverence of the indigenous people of Mexico. Thanks to her miraculous ability to heal and her compassion for the poor, she becomes known as Santa Teresa, the Saint of Cabora... Read The Hummingbird's Daughter Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Race, Society: Nation, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Flora/plants, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Romance, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Food, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: European, History: World, Immigration / Refugee, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Military / War, Politics / Government, Science / Nature, Race / Racism, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality, Grief / Death

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Action / Adventure, Magical Realism

First published in 2005, Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark is a fantasy-adventure for middle-grade readers by Ridley Pearson. Young Finn Whitman and his fellow Disney Hosts each night turn into holograms who visit the Magic Kingdom, where they must defeat a cadre of evil Disney characters trying to break out of the park and take over the world. Winner of the Sunshine State Young Readers Award, the book is the first of more than a... Read The Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, Internet Culture / Social Media

Publication year 1941Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Philosophy, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Latin American Literature

“The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges is a short story that explores the search for meaning in life, the concept of the infinite, the power of knowledge, and the difference between the human and the divine. Borges is generally categorized as a Postmodern, metafictional, and experimental writer who played with the concept of narrative structure to critique the construction of reality. This work is firmly situated within the speculative fiction genre, weaving together... Read The Library of Babel Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Climate, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Climate Change

Publication year 1697Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Identity: FemininityTags Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Romance, Classic Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fame, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1958Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Self DiscoveryTags Jewish Literature, Immigration / Refugee, Magical Realism

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Grief / Death, Relationships

A fortuneteller tells 10-year-old Peter that an elephant will lead him to his lost sister, which starts Peter on a journey of self-discovery and wonder in Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician’s Elephant (2009). When a magician miraculously conjures an elephant, its appearance affects everyone in town. In his efforts to find his sister Adele and rescue the homesick elephant, Peter must overcome obstacles and unite a diverse group of characters that includes a policeman... Read The Magician's Elephant Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Asian Literature

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Animals, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: FateTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 1836Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Satire, Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Russian Literature

This guide refers to the story as it appears in the 1965 Norton Library edition of The Overcoat & Other Tales of Good and Evil, translated by David Magarshack.Nikolai Gogol’s short story “The Nose,” written between 1835 and 1836, was originally published in The Contemporary, a literary journal owned by famed Russian Romantic poet Alexander Pushkin. A satire on bureaucratic life in the Tsarist capital of St. Petersburg, “The Nose” has since become an important... Read The Nose Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Magical Realism

In The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013), a dark fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman, a young boy accidentally brings an evil entity from another reality into his world, and he needs the help of three mysterious women to try to get rid of the threat. A number-one New York Times bestseller, the novel won several honors, including the British Book Awards Book of the Year and the Locus Award for best fantasy... Read The Ocean at the End of the Lane Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Society: Immigration, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2002Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Magical Realism

“The Rememberer,” by American author Aimee Bender, is a short story that uses conventions of magical realism to explore the themes of Thought Versus Feeling, Love and Obligation, and The Sublime Quality of Loss. First published in the September 1, 1997, issue of The Missouri Review, the piece later appeared in Bender’s award-winning short story collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998). Bender uses first-person point-of-view to tell the story of Annie, a woman... Read The Rememberer Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Magical Realism, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Gender / Feminism, African Literature

Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism, Fantasy

The Satanic Verses is a 1988 magical realism novel by Salman Rushdie. The novel weaves together different narratives spread across hundreds of years, framed by the story of two competing Indian Muslim actors. The publication of The Satanic Verses caused controversy, particularly due to the novel's supposedly blasphemous depiction of the prophet Muhammad. The book was burned, riots resulted in death, and a religious edict was issued against Rushdie in 1989 by the Ayatollah Ruhollah... Read The Satanic Verses Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FathersTags Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Parenting

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Community, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Social Justice, Historical Fiction

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Satire, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, LGBTQ, Journalism

Publication year 2002Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism

“The Shell Collector” (2002), a short story by American author Anthony Doerr, tells the story of an unnamed, blind shell expert living alone with his dog, Tumaini, on an isolated Kenyan island. He receives unwanted international attention after curing a local girl of malaria by exposing her to the bite of a deadly, venomous cone shell.This guide refers to the edition in the short story collection of the same name, published by Simon & Schuster... Read The Shell Collector Summary


Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Relationships: Marriage, Society: ColonialismTags Race / Racism, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, African American Literature, Gender / Feminism

The Temple of My Familiar (1989) is a novel by Alice Walker. It follows the intersecting lives of multiple characters across countries and lifetimes, exploring the themes of The Feminine Experience, The Historical Trauma of Colonization, and Spirituality in the Diaspora.Alice Walker is an internationally acclaimed and celebrated writer, poet, and activist. Her novel The Color Purple won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983. Characters from this classic feature... Read The Temple of My Familiar Summary


Publication year 1959Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Society: War, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Military / War, German literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

The Tin Drum is a 1959 novel by German author Gunther Grass. In the novel, a man named Oskar tells the story of his life, particularly focusing on his experiences during World War II. The novel employs satire, absurdism, magical realism, and allegory to wrestle with the pain and trauma of life under Nazi rule. The Tin Drum was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1979 and has been hailed as a landmark in literary... Read The Tin Drum Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Magical Realism

Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Classic Fiction, Magical Realism, Philosophy, Existentialism

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a novel by Czech author Milan Kundera. Written in 1982, it first appeared in print in its French translation in 1984. It was published in Czechoslovakia in 1986. The novel describes Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring, the 1968 Russian invasion, and its resulting “Normalizace” (Normalization) Period, a time of increased repression and persecution of Czech and Slovak intellectuals. At once a philosophical meditation on duality, an inquiry into the nature of... Read The Unbearable Lightness of Being Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Relationships: FamilyTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Magical Realism, British Literature

The international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2012) is the first novel by author Rachel Joyce and the first in a trilogy, followed by The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (2014) and Maureen Fry and the Angel of the North (2022). The novel was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Young also wrote the screenplay for the novel’s film adaptation, which stars Jim Broadbent as Harold... Read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Romance, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Romance, Magical Realism, Education, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Parenting

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionTags Magical Realism

The Water Dancer is the debut novel of Ta-Nehisi Coates, a journalist known for his award-winning essay collections on race, his contributions to The Atlantic, and his work on Marvel’s The Black Panther comic book series. A New York Times bestseller and selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, the novel centers on Hiram Walker, a fugitive slave who becomes an agent in the Underground, an organization devoted to the destruction of slavery in the... Read The Water Dancer Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, Animals

Written by Lauren St. John and published in 2006, The White Giraffe is the first book in the Legend of the Animal Healer series. It tells the story of orphan Martine Allen, who goes to live with her grandmot