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When I started Kadath Press back in 1996, my Web site received visitors from around the world. By far, the most frequent question I got was “What is magic realism?”.

You could easily Google it, then listen carefully as yet another library draws a dying breath and is resurrected as a block of flats; but why not experience it firsthand? To that end, I highly recommend this collection of short stories:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53080.Black_Water

 
Incidentally, one of the reasons I bought the book back in 1991 is the cover art. I recognised it from the back cover of Skinny Puppy’s Remission LP, and the back of one of their tour shirts. Later, I discovered the artist was George Tooker (by using something called a ‘library’, incidentally) and I immediately became a fan.

 

 

 
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature is full of great examples of magic realism and it introduced me to many key authors, Kafka in particular. There’s a highly regarded sequel, although I have yet to purchase it.

The collection also features some surrealist fiction. However, if it’s a pure, unadulterated dose of surrealism you want then I highly recommend this collection:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1371428.The_Dedalus_Book_of_Surrealism?from_search=true

 

 
Both of these collections are available used on Amazon, where good books go to die … or you could go to a ‘library’ and see live specimens in captivity – before it’s too late.

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