Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Magical Realism

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Magical Realism


depicts the real world as having an undercurrent of magic or fantasy


  1. The world must be grounded in reality, but with fantastical elements that are considered normal.
  2. Feel free to blur the line between fantasy and reality.
  3. Present these magical elements as though they are accepted, common.
  4. Leave the magic unexplained to normalize it and reinforce it as part of everyday life
  5. Magical realism does not follow a typical narrative arc. This makes the reading experience more intense because readers don’t know what to expect.
  6.  The heroes are ordinary people, not fairies or magical characters.
  7. Include lots of details.
  8. The prose leans more toward poetic than narrative.

Popular Books

Here are books by some of my favorite blogging authors and others recommended as good examples of magical realism. Books #5-10 are from a list provided by MasterClass who offers an excellent class on writing magical realism: a to z

  1. Last Stop: Storyville by Sharon Cathcart (blogs here)
  2. Song of the Sea Goddess by Chris Hall (blogs at Luna’s on line)
  3. The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach (blogs at Myths of the Mirror)
  4. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  6. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  7. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  8. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  9. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

BTW: If the book you’ve written fits into any of these genres, let me know in the comments and I’ll include you, the book title, and where to purchase it. If you write Magical Realism, add a comment below so others can find you.

Click for complete list of these 26 AtoZ genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More M Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Spring 2022.


90 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Magical Realism

  1. Pingback: This Writer’s Reading Round Up – Q1 2022 – luna's on line

  2. Pingback: #AtoZ–Theme Reveal |

  3. I enjoy Magical Realism, but have found there to be a lot of debate over what it is and is not. Even why I tried to put magical realism into one of my novels my publisher flatly rejected the changes because he did “hold with” magical realism. Interesting that it stirs up so much “controversy.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Finally, a genre I’m familiar with.😊 I’ve been reading more of it lately. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but I have an appreciation for anyone who can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Huge thanks for the mention, Jacqui! In such exalted company as well. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of my most favourite books, along with Like Water for Chocolate and The House of the Spirits which first introduced me to MR and the great Isabel Allende. I’m going to grab a copy of Diana’s book too – I so enjoyed the Ferryman and the Sea Witch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting. It seems a challenge to write in this genre. When you get back to it, I’d love to be an early reader (not a Beta reader–I’ll miss all the mistakes). I loved Diana’s book and the concept of this–magic as just a part of the world–is appealing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Jacqui
    It seems to us that the magical realism is the typical genre of modern south American literature. But we liked reading Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle too. We have no idea how popular magical realism is in Japanese literature.
    Wishing you a happy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I love magical realism. There was a day (way back in my younger years) when it was all I wrote. I recently released a collection of short stories called Things Old and Forgotten that has several stories that fit into the genre, but a few are also pure fantasy, so it wouldn’t fit your list. Still, it was great experimenting with this genre again.

    Great share today, Jacqui!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Hi Jacqui – the ‘Master Class’ sounds interesting – noted via the 5 books you’ve listed, some I’ve read – but I definitely need to read the others, and the one Darlene mentions by Neil Gaiman. Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am not keen on fantasy but I love magical realism, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is the best example I´ve read. I just picked up a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman at a used book table. Can´t wait to get into it.

    Liked by 4 people

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