Amy Tan Magic Realism Analysis

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Stories about ghosts and people who declare having seen them, or even talked to them are very common. In many cases, these people say this very naturally, as if it was something that happens to many other people; for them, ghosts are part of their everyday life. In literature, there are many examples of this kind of stories, and they are grouped under a genre known as Magical realism, which is characterized by the mixing of fantasy elements and realistic descriptions in the same story. This genre is characteristic of Latin-American literature, being its most representative writer Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In their writings, both authors describe typical situations in the life of any human being adding a sense of the supernatural…show more content…
Amy Tan, who is a Chinese-American writer, utilizes techniques of magic realism in her novel “The Hundred Secret Senses” (first published in 1995). She was born on February 19, 1952, and is widely known for his stories about Chinese and American cultures, and the portrait of mother-daughter relationships. (Biography.com Editors). This novel centers on the character of Olivia Bishop, her relationship with members of her family, her husband and, most importantly, with her half-sister Kwan, who comes from China after Olivia’s father dies. In “The Hundred Secret Senses” particularly, Tan presents descriptions of everyday situations and problems common to any human being along various magical elements. This makes it really interesting and maintains the reader engaged in the story, since reality and fantasy appear together matter-of-factly, as if fantastic elements like ghosts, the world of the dead and reincarnation were common aspects of real life, and together, all these elements make it possible to consider it a magical realism…show more content…
If we consider the different definitions of magical realism presented above, the authors who tried to define magical realism included various characteristics that have been included in “The Hundred Secret Senses”: everyday situations of ordinary people mixing up with ghosts, superpowers, reincarnation and magical facts. In this way, the author includes several magical stories and episodes alongside the description of people who are living their lives and trying to be happy. All characters consider these fantastical facts as part of their everyday life, although at times they reflect on them. Although this type of fiction is typical of Latin American literature, it can be said that this novel written by Amy Tan meets with the basic characteristics of magical realism, and can be considered the first example of this genre in North American
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