7 Defining Works of Magical Realism to Expand Your Literary Horizons
The iconic Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez passed away on April 17 in his home in Mexico City at the age of 87. Márquez began his career as a journalist, but is most famous for his novels and is frequently credited with inventing the genre of magical realism. He wrote his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, in 1967 and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. When he accepted the prize, giving one of the most famous of the Nobel acceptance speeches, he tried to explain why magical realism seems so uniquely Latin American. “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable,” he said of him and his fellow Latin American writers in the speech, per The New York Times.
Magical realism is defined by the Random House Dictionary as “a style of painting and literature in which fantastic or imaginary and often unsettling images or events are depicted in a sharply detailed, realistic manner.” That genre has been heavily associated with Latin American writers, though authors from around the world have embraced the style, as this list of seven of its most influential books shows.