Magical realism and indigeneity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores the controversial relationship of magical realism to indigeneity from its beginnings in indigenismo in mid-twentieth century Latin America to that of contemporary indigenous writers in Australia and the Americas. It reveals the relationship of magical realism to both indigeneity and indigenous writing is fraught with cultural politics that reflect the political challenges faced by indigenous communities in relation to settler culture. This is explored in three parts: firstly, to consider the appropriation of indigenous ideas and motifs into early magical realism; secondly, through the propensity of critics in postcolonial studies to identify works by indigenous writers incorporating traditional stories as magical realist; finally, to the writing of Alexis Wright (Waanyi) and Eden Robinson (Haisla) who create a new direction in magical realism that is embedded in local indigenous cultural systems and simultaneously draws upon the transcultural hybridity within contemporary indigenous life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMagical Realism and Literature
EditorsChristopher Warnes, Kim Anderson Sasser
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781108551601
ISBN (Print)9781108426305
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge Critical Concepts
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • indigineity
  • magical realism
  • resurgence
  • First Nations
  • Aboriginal
  • Amerindian
  • appropriation
  • primitivism
  • cultural positioning


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