Suggested Reading

Novels & Short Stories

  • Man Tiger by Eka Kurnianwan

Eka came my way through an article I read online. I bought the book at one of my favorite bookstores in Durham, The Regulator. If you’re a fan of spirit tigers that can inhabit a person, then you might find this work interesting.

  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

I learned of Mr. Murakami through a friend who studied Russian literature. If you’re into talking cats, then this would a good one for you. It’s about a teenage runaway and there’s a reference to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

  • Flying Leap or Big Fat American Baby by Judy Budnitz

I found an article about Budnitz in a copy of Writer’s Market. I may have seen “Dog Days” in the New Yorker around that time, too. These are great books. I don’t know if Budnitz would consider herself a magical realist, but her works are definitely surreal.

  • The Girl on the Fridge and The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God by Etgar Keret

A very cool librarian handed the first book to me. I never looked back. It’s very modern and contemporary. I’d call it flash fiction, but either way it makes quite an impact. You’ll learn a lot about modern Israel, and you’ll go to hell.

  • “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel García Marquez

Strangely enough, I don’t recall how Marquez came on my radar. Ever since, I couldn’t avoid him if I tried. Even if he’s ubiquitous, he crept in like a morning fog initially. I’ve read several of Marquez’s short stories. This one is probably everybody’s favorite. Watch this R.E.M. video. It’s supposedly based on the work.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I read some of Wilde’s plays in high school, I think. I never thought of this work as a piece of magical realism until I saw it on a Goodreads list. It was a very influential books in my reading life. I read it during a time when books could still change my life. I’m loosely quoting someone else when I say that.