Magic is alive

“I don’t think magic belongs to one culture or another. It is a part of family, history, tradition – it is everywhere.”
– Alice Hoffman
The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Jorge Amado


Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon, Jorge Amado

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov


Invisible Cities
, Italo Calvino

Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter


The Magic Toyshop
, Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber
, Angela Carter


Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

Love in the Time of Cholera
, Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude
, Gabriel García Márquez


, Joanne Harris


The World to Come, Dara Horn

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera


The Third Policeman
, Flann O’Brien


The Famished Road
, Ben Okri


Songs of Enchantment, Ben Okri


Stars of the New Curfew
, Ben Okri


My Name is Red
, Orhan Pamuk

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett


Jitterbug Perfume
, Tom Robbins


Midnight’s Children
, Salman Rushdie


The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Salman Rushdie


Of Bees and Mist
, Erick Setiawan


The Girl with Glass Feet, Ali Shaw


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
, Patrick Süskind


Broken Things
, Padrika Tarrant


Lighthousekeeping, Jeanette Winterson


More magical writers

Kathleen Alcalá, Aimee Bender, Louis de Bernières, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, A.S. Byatt, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Peter Carey, Alejo Carpentier, Susanna Clarke, Julio Cortazar, Mia Couto, Katherine Dunn, Louise Erdrich, Jeffrey Eugenides, Connie May Fowler, Janet Frame, Carlos Fuentes, Neil Gaiman, Günter Grass, Mark Helprin, Alice Hoffman, Zora Neale Hurston, Franz Kafka, Kelly Link, Yann Martel, Zakes Mda, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Audrey Niffenegger, Milorad Pavic, Lily Prior, Jonathan Safran Foer, José Saramago, Amy Tan, Luisa Valenzuela, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alice Walker, Virginia Woolf, Carlos Ruiz Záfon

6 thoughts on “Magic is alive

  1. Michelle Post author

    I also enjoyed Zakes Mda’s Cion and Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna and the sequel, The Stories of Eva Luna.

    Other favourites

    Shaindel Beers:

    Things that Fall from the Sky, Kevin Brockmeier
    Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino

    Pascale Petit:

    The Blind Owl, Sedagh Hedayat Iranian
    House of the Sleeping Beauties, Yasonari Kawabata
    The Lost Steps, Alejo Carpentier

    Isobel Dixon mentions Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying and The Whale Caller, and Etienne van Heerden’s The Long Silence of Mario Salviati.

    Sarah Frost:

    Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie
    Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

    Kat Thomas recommends Tim Powers.

    Deb Scott loves Italo Calvino.

    J B Mulligan:

    One Hundred Years of Solitude
    Invisible Cities

    Kelly Cherry:

    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    Susan Hawthorne:

    The Lizard’s Tail, Luisa Valenzuela

    Padrika Tarrant:

    The Street of Crocodiles, Bruno Schulz

  2. Sue

    You can add Robertson Davies to the list. I love magic realism and am seriously thinking about whether i can turn my own hand to it,

  3. Annie

    wow, fabulous list. I love the quote, and yes some of these books are my all time favourites. Particularly, The Famished Road, and Nights at the Circus, and of course Padrika’s book. I want to read the girl with the glass feet, it sounds fabulous. Thanks for the list, more for my wanted list…

  4. Julie

    I absolutely love your list, Michelle. We have similar tastes:) But I will definitely look up the ones I don’t know. Fantastic. And, as always, many thanks for such wonderful information!

  5. Regina

    Oh, great- now I have even more reasons to hit the bookstore! ;)
    What a fantastic list, Michelle- I’ve read a few on there but there’s more that I haven’t- this will keep me busy over the summer!

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