Top 3 Examples of Magic Realism Novels

Magical realism is a genre of literature and art, which combines magical elements with the real world. Magical Realism has been around since the 1920s but it was not until 1985 that Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez published his first magical realist novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude".

In today's article, we dive into what magical realism is and how it came about!

Content Outline

The Definition of Magical Realism

The History of Magical Realism

3 Examples of Magical Realism

The Definition of Magical Realism

Magical Realism is a magical, dreamlike atmosphere with real-life situations. There are magical aspects in the story but it does not overtake the plot of the story.

The personification or symbolism of magical elements can be used to convey some deeper truths about human nature that might otherwise go unknown by readers if these magical things did not exist.

The definition of magical realism might be different for both readers and writers but it all depends on the context of magical realism being used!

The History of Magical Realism

Magical Realism has been around since the 1920s and while magical realism was not called magical realism at that time, it would later become a term to describe this type of writing.

The first magical realist novel is said to be "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez which was published in 1985. Later on, magical realism would be used in other novels such as "Love in the Time of Cholera" and even inspired some magical realist paintings.

Some magical realist paintings include Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory", Rene Magritte's "The Son of Man" and even some magical realism in the painting "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" by Richard Dadd.

Today, magical realism can be found all over literature but it is still mostly used in magical realism paintings!

3 Examples of Magical Realism

There are many examples of magical realism in literature, paintings, and even movies but here are a few popular examples I’ve rounded up: 

1. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez

Published in 1967, this novel si famously recognized as a notable achievement in literature. It tells the story of the multi-generational Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the town of Macondo.  

2. "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel Garca Márquez, Nobel prize-winning author, wrote the novel Love in the Time of Cholera. In 1985, the novel was originally released in Spanish, followed by an English translation in 1988!

3. "The Movie 'Pan's Labyrinth" by Guillermo del Toro

World War II is in full swing, and the Allies just invaded Nazi-held Europe. Led by a sadist, Capitan Vidal, a force of soldiers is dispatched to a secluded forest in Spain in order to flush out the insurgents. Capitan Vidal’s daughter Ofelia is dragged into Pan's Labyrinth, a magical world of mythical beings, after witnessing his terrible savagery.

Have you read any of the novels listed? What are some examples of your favorite magical realism novels?

Don’t forget to check out The Rebirth of Bao, my latest magic realism novel set in Singapore, the ‘Lion City’!