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"Postmodern Fairy Tale" in The Palgrave Handbook of Magical Realism in the 21st Century


The troubles and distractions of 2020 kept us from a timely announcement of the publication of The Palgrave Handbook of Magical Realism in the Twenty-First Century, to which our blog coauthor, Dana Del George, contributed the final chapter, "Streaming from the Past: Magical Realism as Postmodern Fairy Tale."


In their introduction, editors Richard Perez and Victoria A. Chevalier begin, "This anthology tracks the persistence of magical realism in literatures around the globe and its implications for twenty-first century politics, aesthetics, identity, and social/national formations." Essays included in the volume are authored by "scholars from the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia," who "employ multiple theoretical approaches."


Del George asserts that magical realism persists because it flows from the fairy tale, which "has proven itself an endlessly renewable source of narrative worldwide." Both genres "do not flinch in depicting cruel and ugly realities, nor do they shy away from sincere portrayals of hope and justice." Del George's essay concludes with a discussion of several short stories by George Saunders that she offer as examples of postmodern fairy tales.

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