Midway Honors, Honors in English
Date of Award
Thesis Professor Department
Literature and Language
Karen Kornweibel, Lindsey C. King
American Indian author Susan Power’s novel The Grass Dancer is often categorized as magical realism, yet Power has stated the novel is a representation of her reality and that it is not a magical realist text. The term magical realism was first applied to the work of Latin American authors such as Gabriel García Márquez whose writing depicts magical events in a matter-of-fact narrative tone. It has since expanded to include other cultures. The question is whether it is a term that can readily be applied to the literary work of all cultures. The closest Wendy B. Faris, one of the most prominent experts on magical realism, comes to discussing the term in relation to the work of American Indian authors is by simply acknowledging Ojibwe writer Louise Erdrich’s label as a magical realist author. In order to aid Power in her rejection of the association, I delve into both her Dakota heritage and her life through the lens of biographical criticism in order to obtain a working image of her reality. By locating and examining the seeds of truth in her fiction, I explain the magical qualities of her novel in a rational and logical manner.
East Tennessee State University
Honors Thesis - Open Access
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Lewis, Abby N., "How Disassociating the Past Reassociates the Present: Distilling the Magic out of Magic Realism in Susan Power’s The Grass Dancer" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 421. https://dc.etsu.edu/honors/421
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