The term, Magic Realism, has been used to describe a number of different literary works in recent years. The fact that it often occurs in post-colonial countries, or in the writings of disadvantaged populations in the first world, is significant. Here is a book that defines the term, gives its history, and explores its use in the novels of Latin America, the French Caribbean and other post-colonial and first world countries. With incisive analysis of the literary works, as well as of critical works on allegory and of the sources that have been written to date on magic realism, it clarifies what the authors intended by the use of this puzzling literary phenomenon. The analysis includes works by Gabriel García Márquez, Isabelle Allende, Miguel Angle Asturias, Alejo Carpentier, Maryse Condé, José Donoso, Janet Frame, Carlos Fuentes, João Guimarães Rosa, Juan Rulfo, Salmon Rushdie, and Simone Schwartz-Bart. This book will interest students of history, literature, and of the phenomenon of colonialism, as well as more casual readers of today''s literature.