Magic, rednecks, and good old-fashioned sugar

February 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm (1)

I’m not sure if this is a new genre or if I’ve been missing out all these years, but I’m currently quite taken with what I’ve dubbed ‘hometown magic realism’.  Think The Magic Toyshop set in Alabama.  Sarah Addison Allen, Alice Hoffman, Joshilyn Jackson to some extent, though there’s no actual magic, and now Tiffany Baker.  All set in small, usually Southern, American towns, with a thrilling vein of magic, these novels are simply beautiful stories.

Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen must have been my most gifted books of last year – I gave them to practicall every girl I knew.  Not hugely literary, I grant you, but both novels were so warm and gorgeous that I (nearly visibly) glowed for days after reading them.  I loved the way reality and magic co-existed so easily that you were never sure which was which.  If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this – read this author!

I’m now reading a proof of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.  I hope that the proof jacket is the final jacket, because it’s beautiful.  The novel isn’t quite up to SAA’s standard, but I’m only 100 pages in, so I’m perfectly prepared to be proved wrong.


1 Comment

  1. writingminion said,

    I loved the two Sarah Addison Allen books and early Alice Hoffman– who writes about half of her books about LI and New England and the other half about the South. However, recently her books have become so sad I’ve sworn off of her for a while.
    Oh, i am very excited for Little Giant!!

    Have you ever read The Bean Trees? Its early Barbara Kingsolver not quite magical realism, but still wonderful!

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