Sunday, July 5, 2009

Legend of the Swan Children linked to Wilson Harris's Magical Realism

From Debbie Jacob, Trinidad Guardian columnist, published author of middle grade fiction "Legend of the St. Ann's Flood"(Macmillan), series editor of Macmillan's CXC English Literature Study Companions and librarian at the International School of Port-of Spain (ISPS):
I think you did a marvelous job of editing the Island Fiction series. I like each book for different reasons, but I think I am most excited about Legend of the Swan Children.

The author has managed to offer young people a novel very much in the magical realist style of Wilson Harris, who is the greatest novelist to come out of the Caribbean. I thought t was uncanny how much it reminded me of Wilson Harris's work. Very original, but very much in the tradition of Harris.

Wilson Harris's magical realism predates - by 15 years! - Gabriel Garcia- Marquez, who gets most of the credit for magical realism. Everyone in the Caribbean claims they can't understand Harris's work, but Harris's literature is discussed more in international academic circles than even Marquez. From Italy to England to the US there are books that discuss magical realism and have Marquez and 15 other authors in an article but devote whole chapters to Harris's work alone.

I find Harris's work is so important I tried to use his concept of fossil memories in (my own YA fiction).

I am thrilled with the theoretical connections to Harris. I wonder if she (Maureen Marks Mendonca, author of "Legend of the Swan Children") did it on purpose.

I now have three features for gieNETWORK (teen news) on the Island Fiction series. I'll work on some for the (Trinidad) Guardian too. I'd like to do some articles with the authors. I will push this series as hard as I can.

Great work.


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