Exploring Modern Magical Realism

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To subscribers, contributors and friends of Margin:

WELCOME TO perhaps the most comprehensive issue Margin has ever undertaken:
Voyage to the Village—A Magical Realist Passport.

As you can guess by the title, we'll be taking you to places all over the map:

to a World Cup soccer field where players come undone

to the armchair where a disappeared man reappears but does not live up to his memory

to a changeling street in modern Italy

to the reassuring arms of a pin oak tree

to a world where time has been harnessed like a commodity

to the village of a storyteller who determines the futures of others with her words

to a magically fertile grassland

to the hotel in a war-torn village where the customers are vultures

to a suburban neighborhood covered in an übernoxious vine

Anna Maria Ortese ~ Robert Perchan ~ Gloria Vando ~ Catherine
Leggett ~ Eduardo García Aguilar ~ Sarah Sloat ~ A.J. LeFlahec ~
Rajeev Balasubramanyam ~ Giles Goodland

We've also included quite a few discussions featuring a full spectrum of international magical realist voices.

Some major Latina writers (Elena Garro, Teresa Porzecanski, Marta Traba, Luisa Valenzuela, Rima de Vallbona) get overdue credit for their magical realist literary perspectives.

Patricia Schiaffini introduces Tibetan magical realism in her essay about writer Tashi Dawa, and Elena Bertoncini-Zúbková discusses magical realism from Swahili writer Euphrase Kezilahabi.

Our regular Retrospective feature has enlarged as a quintet to reflect on the work of four very different magical realists: Massimo Bontempelli, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie and, last but definitely not least, Arturo Uslar-Pietri.

We include as well a series of critical entries from the weblog, A Motley Vision, which examine the notion of Mormon magical realism.

For this edition's interview, we have and interview with Tess Uriza Holthe of the Philippines by Michelle Caswell for AsiaSource.

Frequent contributor Garrett Rowlan goes out on a limb to suggest the inefficacy of magical realist film using examples of written work by Gabriel García Márquez, José Saramago, John Coover and Yann Martel.

Also included: reviews galore! We offer several substantial reviews (i.e. Mia Couto's Under the Frangipani, Anne C. Hegerfeldt's Lies That Tell the Truth, N. Scott Momaday's The Man Made Out of Words, Touré's The Portable Promised Land) as well as quick takes on more than two dozen books from all around the world and one Macedonian film, The Great Water.

Think you've read every magical realist book out there? Quiz yourself by browsing our Spotlight on "12 Magical Realists You Never Heard Of." (Hint: They come from Austria-Hungary, Turkey, the Dutch East Indies, Somaliland, India, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Russia, Yugoslavia, Western Samoa and Japan.) We've also dedicated our column, Deus Ex Machina: Industry Reports to those experts of linquistic decryption, the translators. We'd like to thank Elena Bertoncini-Zúbková, Henry Martin, Jay Miskowiec and Uta Reuster-Jahn, those translators who helped in some way to make this international issue a success.

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!

We'll be on hiatus officially from June 16 through October 16, which makes this summer an excellent time to catch up on all the past issues you haven't had a chance to read!

Our general reading period is still CLOSED. Sorry, we've got 2006 filled! Subscribers are the first to learn of new calls for submissions: if you haven't subscribed, you ought to do so soon, as the free option may vanish later this year!

Keep In Touch! Our MAGICAL REALISM NEWS BLOG is back and better than ever. If you have any magical realism news you'd like to contribute, drop me an email at:

The first edition of SOUTHERN REVIVAL: DEEP MAGIC FOR HURRICANE RELIEF is sold out! We're into the second and final print run (get your copy soon!). We're asking for $10 minimum, 100% of each donation forwarded to First Book. Many thanks for The Georgia Review and The North American Review for their assistance in helping us promote this important fundraiser. Click here for Details

Just a final note: For "Voyage to the Village: A Magical Realist Passport," we made every effort to capture a wide representation of voices from all around the world. This proved more difficult for us in specific areas (i.e. Africa) where either little has been written about magical realism or language barriers prevented further exploration. We are always happy to "explore modern magical realism" here at Margin, so if you have some favorite authors or titles we haven't included here, you are invited to send them in so that we can find a way to include them.

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed so much to the success of this and all of our previous issues of Margin. We simply could not do it without your support, faith and trust!

Tamara Kaye Sellman, Editor and Publisher
aka The Magical Realism Maven


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Rev'd 2006/06/10