Review: Magic Realism for Non-Believers

Published by the University of Minnesota Press, Magic Realism for Non-Believers is a memoir from Anika Fajardo, a Latinx author who was born in Colombia but grew up in Minnesota. She is the product of an American mother and a Colombian father. The crux of her story is that she, having grown up in a single-parent home, never really knew Renzo, her father, or her Latinx heritage.

The memoir details how the author gradually reaches out to her artist father through letters, eventually visiting him at age twenty-one in the homeland she never knew. This trip precipitates a recovery of memories she thought she knew and also leads to the revelation of more family secrets that shed light on the enigmatic character of Renzo.

As a Caribbean-born reader and a big fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and magic realism, I appreciated how well Fajardo uses the literary technique to tell her origin story and her reconnection with her Colombian heritage.

Disclaimer: I received this book as a digital ARC (Advance Reader Copy) from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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