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Magical Realism and The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman


Magical Realism is found in the writings of deep, “inner rich”, literary authors. Not all authors are “inner rich”; most dwell at the social plane. Authors generally write about society, social relationships and how these can be troublesome. A novel related to society directly and tied to it in a steadfast way can be interesting, educating, liberating, and so on. But a novel that employs magical realism is a class apart.  It goes deeper, into those areas of human experience in which people are not social but their inner selves. After our trysts with society, we have inner journeys to undertake and magical realism comes in handy then. It offers faith to a writer that there is something precious or worthwhile even in the extra-rational domain of human experience; that there is something beyond what we generally are able to perceive rationally.

When writers come to accept magical realism, a style in which the improbable is treated as the mundane, according to Salman Rushdie, they have decided that not all is perceptible with the naked eye. Such writers try to use the inner recesses of the Imagination, more than others, to penetrate the surface reality of things. They are blessed by providence to see much more than most people do. They see through the eye of intuition. Their perceptions are extra-sensory but often deeper than the sensory.

When writers go toward childhood experience they are exploring an area that is somewhat cut off from society. Society involves a preset kind of behaviour, based on social expectation; children are not that conscious of these expectations and therefore purer in thought and action. Magical realism will often go towards childhood experience, with its unique ways of perceiving things. For the child, or the adult with the imagination of a child, the improbable is much less out of reach or far from their vision’s ken.

I am thrilled to be reading a novel that is simply superb in its magical view of life. The book is The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by the American novelist, Robin Gregory. Her novel is not only magical realism; it is more. But the magical element cannot be missed in it. I hope to write about this book in detail once I have read it to its end. I love this style of writing.  Robin Gregory’s novel is a class apart and needs to be read with utter seriousness. It has a very sad story which comes  to the reader through this unique manner of telling.

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