magical Realism Books
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Magical realism is literature genre that affiliated to Latin American, the mythology towards realistic fiction. This genre are commonly used to make sense such unexplicable reality so as to add the mythical fantasy as the realistic reasons. The idea of treating fantastical as the cause of certain event in reality is widely spread and accepted by some part of community in many country. Here are twelve best books of magical realism genre to give you better understanding of this intriguing matter.

First Published: 1973

Plot Summary:
The Greek myth of Jason and the Golden fleece is the major theme in this story, the kingdom of Colchis falls after Jason comes and kidnap Medea. The fable of treason and destruction happens after Soviet usurp Georgia, as well as Chiladze’s view of life as Gilgamesh the ancient Anatolian story. The study of domestic life and politics of Georgian where the innocent have to suffer for the hero’s quest.

Reason for You to Read This:
Otar Chiladze’s book is a highly accomplished in magical realism, Greek mythology never fails to intrigue people with it’s charm and fantastic stories like the work of art, beautiful and mysteriously dangerous but hard to resist. If you’re looking for a greek mythology based of complex story this is what you should definitely get.

Best Quote:
“The word ‘love’ made Medea tremble so much that she found it hard to announce it even to herself. This little word, so harmless at first sight, comprised so much resistance and unhappiness, and implied such terrible visions, that Medea felt she was gasping for breath, drained of strength and dissolving in the air, becoming as light and substantial as air.”

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11The Famished Road by Ben Okri

First Published: 2004

Plot Summary:
Azaro the main character told the story in a narrative way, he admit he is a spirit child named Abiku who deemed to exists between life and death in Yoruba Nigeria tradition. This is a story of his tragic and sad life although he was born with the unexplainable smile. When he almost dead, his parents used all their belongings to ressurect him back. He then was torn between the free kingdom of spirits and violent with political conflict in the land of the living.

Reason for You to Read This:
This story have won the Booker Price and deemed as the uncomparable example of greatness in the genre. Another must read book for you to widden your horizon of magical realism world in the much stranger yet unique territory of Nigeria.

Best Quote:
“We can redream this world and make the dream come real. Human beings are gods hidden from themselves.”

10The River King by Alice Hoffman

First Published: 2000

Plot Summary:
When a man allegedly suicide in the town of Haddan, where their locals live separately with the prestigious prep school. Not to mention the school even have hierarchy rules applied to the freshman to be determined by faculty members. The local policeman who found the body, a student, and a teacher then have to disturb this closed quite world and peaceful appearance in order to uncover the truth under.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book with it’s powerful notion brings forth the small town secrets and mythical believe, a perfect mix of mystery, magic, and beauty. The author ability to write such powerful gothic era story is one that you must not miss, an unprecedented magical realism book to behold.

Best Quote:
“Outside, the September air was enticingly fragrant, yellow with pollen and rich, lemony sunlight.”

First Published: 2009

Plot Summary:
Quentin Coldwater is a brilliant high school senior who deduces magic is not real, not until he is accepted to an exclusive and restricted college of magic in New York. There he live the life of normal college student and education of modern sorcery. He thought that magic is like the common fiction movie where it all just adventure in happy and fun note, but after he graduate he discovers that the journey he set to is of dark and dangerous unimaginable.

Reason for You to Read This:
This is a coming of age story with magic in a more realistic and serious ways. A complicated yet difficult craft that need learning and hard work to achieve and sharpen. A story of a young man that must face the real world unlike he hope for with magic just like normal people skill is not an easy path in life. An interesting book to read of magical realism, as it is magic in more realistic facts of our world.

Best Quote:
“If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so.”

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8A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

First Published: 1982

Plot Summary:
The story follows the narrator adventures in Tokyo and Hokkaido in 1978, begins with his publishing a photo of pastoral scene he received from his long lost friend ‘The Rat’, immediately afterwards ‘The Boss’ send a mysterious man who tells him the secret behind the photo. The narrator then condemn in two months deadline to finish a quest in a consequence of his career and his own life.

Reason for You to Read This:
This story is rich with fantasy, mythology, and philosophy while the protagonist have to go through a physically and spiritually challenging to finish his quest. A once in a lifetime journey that will change his life forever. This book is considered the author best work with it’s quirks and charms that will make you want to read it over and over again.

Best Quote:
“Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.”

7Beloved by Toni Morrison

First Published: 2004

Plot Summary:
This book revolves on the life of Sethe, born a slave but managed to escape to Ohio but found her life still not free even after eighteen years. Though awful the memories of the farm she call Sweeth Home, she still coudn’t get over it while living in the new house under the haunting of her baby’s ghost. The one that must be burried with a tombstone engraved “Beloved”.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book highlight on a horrible period of America history, but ultimately is a love story with a shade of horror, supernatural, loss and forgiveness. What can be more realistic than to set the story during the real historic moment in America and mix with spiritual sense of the event consequence and trauma. It also included with powerful images that help you reimagine the situation.

Best Quote:
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

6Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

First Published: 1955

Plot Summary:
Juan Preciado the protagonist of the story goes to a mysterious journey to search his long lost father, to Comala his mother’s birth place. But what he encounter is a decaying, haunted land, a hollow blur exitence of some people that he talk to. The town is reek with death and unclarity between reality of true living or dead.

Reason for You to Read This:
What more can be more mysterious than haunted town, will Juan be trapped in the town dragged to be one of the ghost citizen of the long forgotten Comala. This book will surely make you shiver and dazed, just like Juan that couldn’t seem to decide whether people he meet there are real or not, alive or dead.

Best Quote:
“No one knows better than I do how far heaven is, but I also know all the shortcuts. The secret is to die, when you want to, and not when He proposes. Or else to force Him to take you before your time.”

5Satanic Verses : A Novel by Salman Rushdie

First Published: 1988

Plot Summary:
The story set in a modern world when a terrorist bomb cause the jet set to London exploded in midflight. Then two actors of indian descent with different conscious fall down to earth and transformed to angelic and satanic living proof. As then they are miraculously alive, but their life will then change with unexpected ending.

Reason for You to Read This:
If you’re looking for extraordinary book of magical realism with unexpected plot and even a twis ending, this is what you need. But be prepared to have your mind blown with controversial book. It is said that the author have received several death threats and assasination attempts while the book translator was killed by assassin for it’s content are considered a blasphemy by certain islamic sect.

Best Quote:
“Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.”

4The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass

First Published: 1959

Plot Summary:
Oskar the main character of story decides to stop growing on his third birthday, he wield his tin drum and recounts the event of his life, deaths of his parents, terror under the Nazi era, and his own life of anarchy adventures during German post war.

Reason for You to Read This:
The book is an easy read of first and third person narration, with it’s blur between insanity and concious mind. Set in one of the horrible event of world’s history, the book merge it with the heavy fog of myth and fable. A certain mythical aura fits with the horror of those dark times.

Best Quote:
“Today I know that all things are watching, that nothing goes unseen, that even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings.”

3One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

First Published: 1967

Plot Summary:
This is a story Buendia family seven generations reciding in the Macondo town, which is founded by Jose Arcadio Buendia and his wife Ursula Iguaran. They left their hometown Riohacha in Colombia to make a home of themselves and a more sustainable life. They build and invent the city after Jose dream about it while camping on a riverbank. But their life in the Macondo always surrounded by unusual and extraordinary events, as in every generation the member of the family dies with mysterious reasons.

Reason for You to Read This:
Regarded as the author best work, this book elaborate on the affair within the growing family. Like love, war, revolution, death, peace and truth. If you’re looking for insight of beautiful world of magical realism this is the book you need.

Best Quote:
“Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it.”

First Published: 1982

Plot Summary:
This story discuss about the life of Trueba family through four generations, which is during the post colonial social and political conflict in Chile. Esteban is the head of the family with Clara his wife as the only muse of his desire and only her who could bring him to his senses. Their daughter Blanca is in love with the forbidden man, yet their love child Alba is the pride and joy of Esteban. Beautiful, fierce, and ambitious, the future leader of their country.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book has garnered Isabel Allende’s a place among the most important Latin American writings of 20th century. Her creation of this piece of art has revealed both triumphs and tragedies among the magical realism genre, even adapted to movie and theatre for it’s notable content. Obviously this book is a must have for the magical realism genre, an epic saga of love, magic, and destiny.

Best Quote:
“You can’t find someone who doesn’t want to be found.”

1Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

First Published: 1992

Plot Summary:
De La Garza is an all female family, with their youngest daughter Tita being the main protagonist has been condemned to a life of no marriage to look after her mother until the rest of her life. Until one day she fall in love to Pedro, who can’t resist her magically delicious food. He then marries her sister to get close to her and they have to endure their passion. But one day tragedies happen that will bring them both together again and get the happy ending they always dream of.

Reason for You to Read This:
This book is the number one best seller in Mexico and America for two years consecutively. If you’re looking for magical realism with a dash of romance, bittersweet of love, with exotic good food and happy ending, then this is the book you must have.

Best Quote:
“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”

CONCLUSION
These twelve novels will exclusively gives you the best insight and illustration of the beautiful mixture of mythical fantasy and reality from magical realism genre. All of it are alluring, mysterious, yet magical that’ll keep you wanting for more. The perfect combination of literature, ancient myth, and the realistic of life.

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