I wrote that my fiction about Lebanon and sectarian conflict is meant in part to reveal American fears of the Other and the fatal consequences of unchecked violence.
Then I started in on myth, ancestor stories, saints' tales, the voices of the dead. What did that reviewer say about Louise Erdrich? Because it applies to my work. Oh yes, Google is my friend:
Claire Massud writes in Blood Relations - The New York Review of Books:
...there is no such thing as "magical realism." There are, instead, culturally specific experiences of the real which, when rendered in fiction, produce different results.
So if you read my novel draft and wonder why there are miraculously blossoming olive branches, and dead people talking, and voices in the subway tunnels of New York, well, see Massud on Louise Erdrich. Simply a culturally specific experience of the real - one which I'm trying to reclaim amidst the insane "rationality" of this modern world.
Explain to me why a world in which saints heal babies is more crazy than this one where we destroy countries in order to save them from dictatorship, and give hundreds of billions to bankers to rescue them from their greedy mistakes.