Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Mar 02

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Love Medicine was a really good book. It is Native American literature and it is filled with disjointed short stories, coming together, as a tribe would from all angles. The characters are strong and vulnerable, believable and the stories pull on your heart strings. This is a book with a message. In this book we read about two families spanning many decades, in a non-linear manner. This lends to the interconnectedness of the past, the present and the future. That is a main point, each generation affects the next and the last. And many more to come. This book tells of the Governmental “re-education” of the Native Americans by predominantly white people and religious organizations. It tells of subjugation, of the woes of reservation, of alcohol and stereotypes. It tells of the struggle to cope with forced assimilation while still trying to hold on to who you are, the culture you have always known and that of your ancestors—while not being given the option to stay the same. I do not want to give too much away but I would definitely recommend Love...

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The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Mar 03

I have been a long time fan of Alice Hoffman’s work. She has a delightful way of making life just a little bit more magical than others. She dips her pen in magical realism and writes very real, imperfectly perfect characters who you grow to really care about in her stories. She is really a talented author. Her latest book, The Red Garden, did not disappoint. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman is a series of short stories chronicling over 300 years of the small town of Blackwell, Massachusetts. The stories weave throughout the various families that founded Blackwell with such ease I felt as if I was a time traveler who had the great fortune to see the lives of generation after generation develop, wither, flourish. Each character has their own quirks, their deep passions, their flaws. And you learn how these can affect future generations. Enamored by bears, gardens, people, themselves, these characters tell the story of the fictional Blackwell in a way history never could, though the small museum within Blackwell certainly tries by giving clues to all those who have lived, loved and left Blackwell from the beginning till current times. The Red Garden is easy to read because it is broken up into sections of different time periods. It makes a good book for when you can only steal a few minutes away at a time. I definitely recommend this book, as well as most of Alice Hoffman’s writing. Purchase – The Red...

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Magical Realism

Oct 05

[El descanso del Guerrero], originally uploaded by Cirileta. One of my very favorite genres is “Magical Realism”. I find it fascinating and fun. You can address the most difficult, messy topics through the fantastical without overwhelming the reader.  So, what exactly is magical realism? It is a bit more complex than other genres to define, it definitely cannot be encompassed with a simple definitive description. Here are some good explanations I’ve found for the literary genre Magical Realism: “…it’s appeal is rooted in reality and dares to explore magical elements present in that very reality, very elements that are often taken for granted and ignored…”1  “Magic realism, or magical realism, is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even “normal” setting. It has been widely used in relation to literature, art, and film.” — Wikipedia  “A literary mode rather than a distinguishable genre, magical realism aims to seize the paradox of the union of opposites.  For instance, it challenges polar opposites like life and death and the pre-colonial past versus the post-industrial present.  Magical realism is characterized by two conflicting perspectives, one based on a rational view of reality and the other on the acceptance of the supernatural as prosaic reality.  Magical realism differs from pure fantasy primarily because it is set in a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of humans and society.”2  “Literature of this type is usually characterized by elements of the fantastic woven into the story with a deadpan sense of presentation.”3 Some of my favorite magical realism authors are Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Paulo Coelho, Yann Martel, Jorge Luis Borges, Alice Hoffman and Neil Gaiman. Here are 10 of my favorite magical realism books: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel American Gods by Neil Gaiman The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memoryby Jorge Luis Borges Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez I highly recommend these 10 magical...

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