Magical Realism

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The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

ALLENDE

In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies while twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.


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The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov

BULGAKOV

Devastating satire of Soviet life written during the darkest period of Stalin’s regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts – one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow – the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow.


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The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho

COEHLO

A shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.


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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Diaz

DIAZ

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet, overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukú—the curse that has haunted his family for generations.


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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman

SF GAIMAN

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road. As he sits by the pond behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.


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One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

CLASSIC GARCIA MARQUEZ

The story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.


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Chocolat
Joanne Harris

HARRIS

Just a few days before Lent, a flamboyant woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French town and create a stir with their seemingly magical sweet-treat remedies for life’s problems.


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The Story Sisters
Alice Hoffman

HOFFMAN

Charts the lives of three sisters. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination.


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The Green Mile
Stephen King

KING

At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers await death strapped in “Old Sparky.” But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none have ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?


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The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

SF MORGENSTERN

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.


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Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison

MORRISON

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. As Morrison follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, she introduces the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.


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Haruki Murakami

MURAKAMI

Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult.


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The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

RUIZ ZAFON

Barcelona slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son finds solace in a mysterious book by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works he finds someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.


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Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel
Salman Rushdie

RUSHDIE

For Khalifa, the legendary storyteller of Kahani, has fallen into deep sleep from which no one can wake him. To keep his father from slipping away, Luka must travel to the Magic World and steal the ever-burning Fire of Life.


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Swamplandia!
Karen Russell

RUSSELL

The Bigtree dynasty is in decline and Swamplandia!, their gator-wrestling theme park, has closed. Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve year old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief. To save her family, Ava must journey to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld, a harrowing odyssey from which she emerges a true heroine.


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