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PERIPHERY: A magical realist zine
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19 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, DEC 19
Topic: December 2005
ANOTHER DAY IN THE LIFE OF MR LIT

Scroll down the page in the Guardian article to read about Whitbread finalist Rachel Zadok's Gem Squash Tokoloshe, a magical realist novel set in the northern part of South Africa known as the Transvaal, where the child protagonist, Faith, must live among the iconography of fairies painted and revered by her mother, Bella. "There's nothing fey about these fairies," writes columnist Hephzibah Anderson, "Dead Rex feeds on pain, Tit Tit Tay steals children and Tokoloshe steals the souls of the sleeping."

Dublinks.com gives the new film, "Breakfast on Pluto," which is set in Ireland, kudos for its "fast paced story reversing from comedy to tragedy, magic to harsh reality," the site reports. The film, based on a Pat McCabe novel, opens in January 2006 in Ireland. Look for it in American cinema sometime in the future.

Whoa, talk about the malleability of time. Punk magical realist queen Weetzie Bat has turned 40, according to this article in the Seattle Times. Writes AP journalist John Rogers, "With two girls of her own in college, and her longtime relationship with Max, her 'secret-agent lover man,' seemingly about to crumble, [Weetzie] sets out to find herself among the mystical characters and magical happenings that make up life in [author Francesca Lia] Block's Los Angeles." Now, Block has always contended that the Weetzie Bat books were never originally written as young adult novels, so it's not too hard to see Block's interest in propelling her teen diva into more "adult" territory (though how different could it be from her rather "adult" teenhood?). But wouldn't we lose Weetzie's essence as a 40-year-old? And what about teen readers? Will they be satisfied with such a plunge into the future? This is an odd shift; we'll keep tabs on it and see how it all works out.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:21 AM PST
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16 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR FRIDAY, DEC 16
Topic: December 2005
ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF OUR SPECIAL EDITION, Season of Spirit

We've gathered a diverse collection of magical realist stories, poems and essays which contain within them distinct traces of spirituality:

A primer on Jewish magical realism ~ living with the spirits of loved ones ~ the immortality of some Christmas trees ~ Virgin Mary sightings ~ the spirits within lost limbs ~ marking time with the zaddikim ~ reporting on miraculous birds ~ cosmological farmland ~ Native American metamorphoses ~ prayers and favors at an Irish graveside ~ FBI agents at the pearly gates?

Featuring:
Allen Braden ~ Joan Crooks ~ Janice Eidus ~ Maureen Tolman Flannery ~ Stephen Gibson ~ Richard Jay Goldstein ~ Daniel Jaffe ~ Sondra Kelly-Green ~ Dr. Alan Mintz ~ Sheila Nickerson ~ Jacqueline Osherow ~ Richard Peabody ~ Shira Richman ~ Tamara Kaye Sellman ~ Ruth Knafo Setton ~ Joseph Skibell ~ artist Constantine Cionca ~ …and St. Bernard?

Some announcements:

• Check out the crystal ball icon on our contents page. Roll your cursor over it and you will foresee into a bit of Margin's future for 2006!

• Coming in February: a special edition ~ "Isn't It Romantic?"—the marvels of love

• Our general reading period is still CLOSED. Sorry, we've got 2006 filled! Stay tuned for news about upcoming calls for submissions, and see below. There's also been a CHANGE IN PLANS regarding our "Passages to India" theme. Since we revamped the schedule, we've decided to turn that theme into an extensive article for inclusion in "A World of Magical Realism." Therefore, we're not accepting any more submissions for this special theme call for submissions; thanks, but we have everything we need for a fabulous article on MR from the subcontinent.

• ACTIVE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! Our Hurricane Relief project, Southern Revival: Deep South Magic for Hurricane Relief is off to a good start. We're collecting donations and manuscripts for a special edition of Periphery to be released in Spring 2006. Interested in reserving your copy, submitting a manuscript or giving a donation? We're asking for $10 minimum, 100% of each donation forwarded to First Book. Our goal? $2,500. That amount of money will enable First Book to provide 5,000 books to hurricane-devastated libraries in the South (including all communities devastated by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma).

• Because we're in the midst of a vortex of cool changes at Margin, we're inviting everyone and anyone to give us their FEEDBACK. What's worked for you? What hasn't? What would you like to see at Margin that we haven't already done? What really isn't worth our effort? Go to the survey page to download your poll and let us know how we're doing. Your responses will help shape the coming future of Margin.

I'd like to express my thanks and gratitude to all the wonderful people who helped me put together a coherent article on Jewish magical realism, including Daniel Jaffe, Dr. Alan Mintz, Richard Jay Goldstein, Ruth Knafo Setton, Janice Eidus, the American Jewish Congress, Wikipedia.com and the Jewish Virtual Library. Special thanks to educator and writer Susan Rich for giving me the impetus and inspiration to approach this subject matter.

In the meantime, we hope you'll get into the Season of Spirit. We've got some great reading for a cold winter's night. Wishing you Happy Holidays and Peace in the New Year,

Tamara Kaye Sellman, Editor and Publisher (SEE current TABLE OF CONTENTS)

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 4:23 PM PST
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13 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR TUESDAY, DEC 13
Topic: December 2005
NOT TO BE MISSED! MARGIN READING!
Kathleen Alcala, Wayne Ude and editor Tamara Kaye Sellman will present "Five Fabulist Years of Pacific Northwest Magical Realism" at Epilogue Books (Ballard) in Seattle on Wed December 14 at 6pm as part of the ProseWest series.

Here's an excellent change to pick up a copy of the collectible Periphery III: Reasonable Facsimiles (going, going, gone!) as well as to contribute to the library restoration project coordinated between Periphery IV: Southern Revival and the four-star literacy charity, First Book.

Come one, come all! 2821 NW Market St, (206) 297-2665. Open mic follows for both prose and poetry.

NOT ALL LATIN AMERICAN WRITERS ARE MAGICAL REALISTS!
MARGIN's readers all know how much we love the Magical Realism here, but it's always good to underscore that MR isn't just the singular writing style of Latin America.

Writes foreign service correspondent Monica Campbell of the San Francisco Chronicle in her article, "In Mexico, young authors look beyond El Boom,"

"The new fiction writers readily salute the powerful influence of El Boom, but are weary of a literary style that has long typecast Latin American literature.
Writer Ignacio Padilla, author of Shadow Without a Name and the odyssey-laden story collection Antipodes, is unequivocal. "[Garcia] Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of the books that convinced me to stop and think about how I could be a writer. Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar did that, too. But we've also been influenced by non-Latin writers like Julian Barnes and Kazuo Ishiguro…There's nothing wrong with magic realism, but we're not interested in imitating [it]."

He speaks for a cadre of writers of other types of fiction working from all across Mexico, in such locations as Monterrey, Puebla and Tijuana—not your typical Mexico City-based collective.

Similarly, author Jorge Volpi isn't interested in defining his Mexican identity through writing. His spy thriller, In Search of Klingsor (2002), was set in Nazi Germany and has been translated into 16 languages. He joined Padilla in 1996 to form what is known as Mexico's Crack group to expand their authorial horizons beyond what might be thought of as the "cultural assignment of magical realism" to a world of writing which lies beyond Mexico altogether. Their efforts to shrug off stereotyping are helping to liberate many Latino writers who are expected to write magical realism and only magical realism.

Let's hold out hope that they can all excel beyond their wildest dreams.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:53 AM PST
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MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR TUESDAY, DEC 13
Topic: December 2005
NOT TO BE MISSED!

MARGIN READING!
Kathleen Alcala, Wayne Ude and editor Tamara Kaye Sellman will present "Five Fabulist Years of Pacific Northwest Magical Realism" at Epilogue Books (Ballard) in Seattle on Wed December 14 at 6pm as part of the ProseWest series.

Here's an excellent change to pick up a copy of the collectible Periphery III: Reasonable Facsimiles (going, going, gone!) as well as to contribute to the library restoration project coordinated between Periphery IV: Southern Revival and the four-star literacy charity, First Book.

Come one, come all! 2821 NW Market St, (206) 297-2665. Open mic follows for both prose and poetry.

NOT ALL LATIN AMERICAN WRITERS ARE MAGICAL REALISTS!
MARGIN's readers all know how much we love the Magical Realism here, but it's always good to underscore that MR isn't just the singular writing style of Latin America.

Writes foreign service correspondent Monica Campbell of the San Francisco Chronicle in her article, "In Mexico, young authors look beyond El Boom,"

"The new fiction writers readily salute the powerful influence of El Boom, but are weary of a literary style that has long typecast Latin American literature.
Writer Ignacio Padilla, author of Shadow Without a Name and the odyssey-laden story collection Antipodes, is unequivocal. "[Garcia] Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of the books that convinced me to stop and think about how I could be a writer. Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar did that, too. But we've also been influenced by non-Latin writers like Julian Barnes and Kazuo Ishiguro…There's nothing wrong with magic realism, but we're not interested in imitating [it]."

He speaks for a cadre of writers of other types of fiction working from all across Mexico, in such locations as Monterrey, Puebla and Tijuana—not your typical Mexico City-based collective.

Similarly, author Jorge Volpi isn't interested in defining his Mexican identity through writing. His spy thriller, In Search of Klingsor (2002), was set in Nazi Germany and has been translated into 16 languages. He joined Padilla in 1996 to form what is known as Mexico's Crack group to expand their authorial horizons beyond what might be thought of as the "cultural assignment of magical realism" to a world of writing which lies beyond Mexico altogether. Their efforts to shrug off stereotyping are helping to liberate many Latino writers who are expected to write magical realism and only magical realism.

Let's hold out hope that they can all excel beyond their wildest dreams.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:45 AM PST
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12 December 2005
FOLLOWUP ON HURRICANE RELIEF
Topic: December 2005
Recently, we were asked if First Book's hurricane relief campaign included assistance for libraries devastated by Hurricane Wilma. Here's the scoop from the organization's corporate strategy director, Theresa Harnisch:
"Yes, books are going to victims of hurricane Wilma as well. From what I understand, it's a slightly different situation, as not as many schools and libraries were damaged as they were in the areas hit by Katrina and Rita. That said, we have distributed books to those displaced by the storm through our local advisory board, First Book-Pensacola, Communities in Schools of Northwest Florida, and FEMA and we have sent books to a number of groups that have contacted us directly."

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:21 AM PST
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9 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR FRIDAY, DEC 9
Topic: December 2005
FOLLOW UP

Yes, my Nancy Drew-like sleuthing skills were up to snuff this morning when I figured out that Liese Sherwood-Fabre's prize-winning story was "The Cost of Heaven" and that it was published in Fresh Ink. (Dag, I'm good.) —TKS, ed. [see previous entry]

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 2:46 PM PST
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MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR FRIDAY, DEC 9
Topic: December 2005
MR MISCELLANY

RE: FOREIGN FILM:
Anandabhadram, directed by Santosh Sivan, gets mixed reviews from New India Press, but their critic had this to say: "The climax…demands a voluntary suspension of disbelief as the turn of events force in a form of magical realism."

RE: PRIZE-WINNING LITERARY MAGICAL REALISM
The Coppell Gazette wrote a wonderful background article on prize-winning magical realist author Liese Sherwood-Fabre of Coppell, TX on December 8, but did not seem to think it important to include the name of the honor or the story she wrote which won the prize in their article. Huh? We're guessing the prize was for her story, "The Cost of Heaven," which appears in the Dec 2005 issue of Fresh Ink [PDF], the magazine of the California Writers Club. Feel free to correct us; we just wanted to offer our congratulations. Sherwood-Fabre's previous magical realist work has also earned her some other accolades, including a second place distinction in a contest sponsored by Lynx Eye and a nomination for the 2005 Pushcart Prize for her story, "Stranger in the Village," by Briar Cliff Review.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:05 AM PST
Updated: 9 December 2005 2:14 PM PST
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8 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR THURSDAY, DEC 8
Topic: December 2005
MR MISCELLANY

RE: SOUTHERN REVIVAL, our fundraising effort for library restoration in the hurricane ravaged South:

K Alsbrooks recently wrote to thank us for our efforts to help the hurricane victims of both Rita and Katrina, but wanted to put out the reminder that there are many whose lives were also destroyed by Wilma (in Florida) and they need our help, too.

I was under the impression that the charity we selected, First Book, would be serving the needs of all hurricane victims, but it seems as if they are set up to serve Katrina and Rita victims exclusively. I'll drop Theresa Harnisch at First Book a "hey there" and find out if their reach has since been expanded to Florida's Wilma victims. [Note: We chose First Book as our fundraising beneficiary before Wilma had yet existed.] Stay tuned.

To revisit First Book's pledge: their Book Relief campaign is preparing to distribute at least five million books to displaced hurricane victims, organizations, schools and libraries. Some interesting stats from their website:

? In New Orleans, 118 of 126 schools sustained damage
? In Mississippi, 300 schools were damaged, 24 of them severely damaged or destroyed
? Nearly 190,000 Louisiana students were displaced
? Evacuated students are now attending schools in 47 states, with the largest numbers in other parts of Louisiana (41,000), in Texas (48,000), and in Georgia (8,000)

To support Alsbrooks's point about Hurricane Wilma, check out this report in yesterday's Daytona Beach News-Journal:

? "National attention focused this year on the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, but storms also ravaged Florida. Dennis hit the Panhandle area hard at the start of the season. Katrina hit Florida before heading toward New Orleans, doing an estimated $2 billion in damages and killing six. Less than a month later, Rita swept across the Florida Keys. In October, Hurricane Wilma left thousands homeless, and took out power for much of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties."

Specifically regarding libraries in Florida devastated by Wilma, Library Journal had this to report on November 28:

? "[T]wo [library] branches have sustained significant damage. The Northeast Branch, in the midst of an extensive renovation, was closed indefinitely because of severe damage to the roof. Within a few days of the storm, a bookmobile was permanently stationed in front of the facility. The library's S.M.A.R.T. tutoring program was reinstated at a nearby community center. The Hispanic Branch Library, a leased facility, also suffered roof damage but was expected to reopen soon."

A TERRIFIC MULTIMEDIA EVENT SLATED: Stephen Siciliano writes: "The date is drawing near. [I] will read from Vedette to the accompaniment of guitarist Omar Torrez on Thursday December 15, 8pm at 33-1/3 Books & Gallery Collective (1200 N. Alvarado St. at Sunset), Los Angeles." How fun! If you're in LA, please go to this performance and tell me how it went! I wish I could be there, Torrez (of Seattle) is dubbed the Latin Hendrix by some.

ANOTHER WORTHY EVENT! In association with the Music Theater Collaborative, composer Hector Armienta will present a staged reading of the classic Mexican folktale, La Llorona, on Dec 11 and Dec 18 at Counterpulse on 1310 Mission Street in San Francisco. Set in late 19th-century Mexico, La Llorona is the story of a young woman who is betrayed by the one man she loves and the gods she once worshiped. This work is part of the opera trilogy, River of Women/Rio de Mujeres. For more information, locals can call: (415) 820-1414.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 3:09 PM PST
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6 December 2005
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR TUESDAY, DEC 6
Topic: December 2005
NEWS FROM OUR MAGICAL REALIST CONTRIBUTORS

Previous contributor Cantara Christopher announces that her new novel, Japanese Love Song, will be released on Memorial Day 2006.

Marcia Douglas, whose excerpt, "The Language of Snails, we published in our special Caribbean theme edition in Spring 2004, reports that her new novel, Notes from a Writer's Book of Cures and Spells, will be released in the US in January 2006 by Caribbean publisher extraordinaire, Peepal Tree Press. Buy it now and enjoy free postage and packing (see website for details).

News from Michael Hettich: He's coming out with two new books this year: Swimmer Dreams (winner of the Tales Prize, from Turning Point); and Flock and Shadow: New and Selected Poems from New Rivers Press.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 12:46 PM PST
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