What is Magical Realism?

Magical Realism as a genre is usually shelved as a drop-down stepchild of Fantasy. For marketing purposes, it’s convenient but misleading. Although MR can be fanciful, true fantasy relies heavily on world-building while magical realism accepts the existence of ‘magic’ as a natural element of our familiar world.

As its name implies, magical realism seamlessly and delightfully joins magic and reality. Because it can be incorporated to a greater or lesser degrees in a variety of fiction, books with any degree of magical realism will often be categorized under primary genres wildly ranging from literary to horror, but most often in historical fiction, historical romance, and fantasy.

What are good sources to learn more about Magical Realism?


Alberto Ríos, a professor at Arizona State University teaches a class in Magical Realism. His website has a wealth of introductory information. Alberto Ríos http://www.public.asu.edu/~aarios/magicalrealism/••

“Magical realism does not reside in or belong to the countries in which the writers who have created it work. Rather, magical realism—whatever it is, and it’s different each time—belongs to the new geographies these writers, and their words, have imagined. These are countries without names, but whose maps are our maps. That is to say, we recognize something. They are places we imagine superimposed on places we live, giving to our lives, through this literature, a dimensionality that—once recognized—is immediately evident.

Though many of the conclusions drawn may be contrary to the laws of nature as we know them, this writing—magical realism—shows us a new science, a literary science, an understanding of those parts of the world and of life which take into account the personal. Science may not work this way, but on a given day in a given place and to a given person, this thing—whatever it is—happened. This is, finally, the science of the impossible, which describes every one of us."

Recommended books

For in-depth essays about Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, an anthology of essays and commentary edited by Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris shows magical realism to be an international movement with a wide-ranging history and a significant influence among the literature of the world.  Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community

Fiction: GoodReads List of MR books

What is the book Guardian Cats about?

Discover the secret world of the Guardians, library cats whose night vigils incorporate a love of reading with their mission of protecting ancient mystical books rescued from the burning Library of Alexandria.

One of these books is under the watchful eye of Cicero, a wise old Guardian. The powerful ancient document is also the target of a man with chilling intentions for its use, a man on the hunt for the elusive Book of Motion and its fearless defender. As the villain closes in, Cicero, acutely aware his days are numbered, intensifies the search for his successor.

When a promising, but inexperienced young tabby seeks refuge in the library, Cicero has precious little time to contemplate his worth, let alone train him.

Guardian Cats is a story about man’s abuse of worldly power, and the unsung heroes who fight in the timeless battle of good and evil.

Do you have other books in the works?

Yes, I am working on a sequel to Guardian Cats. Completion date is a mystery to all of us.

What is the best way to connect with you to share ideas?

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