Highgrove Education

Magical Realism in Latin American Fiction

Flying carpets, talking objects, ghosts who return from beyond the grave… all of these are elements of magical realism, a literary genre which originated in Latin America and is still closely entwined with the region. But what makes magical realism different from fantasy? And what are authors trying to communicate by writing in this literary genre? In this course, we will look at the characteristics of magical realism and what it conveys and study samples of magical realism writing from some of Latin America’s best-loved authors.

Key Information



Access Course Enrolment:
  • Enrolment in our pre-GCSE or pre-A level access course.
  • Access to our self-study materials and platform, live class lessons, and individual teacher support in Office Hours.
  • Weekly teacher-marked homework.
  • Half termly reports.
  • Support from our SENDCo for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, including assessment for access arrangement entitlement.
  • Support with English for pupils whose first language is not English.
  • A Highgrove Education Office365 account, including Teams, SharePoint and a school email
TeacherMs Lesley Paramo, French and Spanish Teacher
Course Length10 weeks
Live LessonsOne 45-minute lesson per week
HomeworkApproximately half an hour a week
Entry RequirementsNone. Texts can be read in English or Spanish; discussion is in English

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1What is magical realism?
Lesson 2Magical realism: A Latin American genre
Lesson 3Gabrial García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings 
Lesson 4Magical realism as social and political commentary
Lesson 5Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits 
Lesson 6Magical realism to explore the human psyche
Lesson 7Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
Lesson 8Magical realism: a contemporary genre?
Lesson 9Mariana Enriquez, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed
Lesson 10Is Harry Potter magical realism?

Teacher Profile

Ms Paramo has been teaching Spanish and French for ten years, most recently teaching the Edexcel IAL course in French at Harrow School Online. Prior to this she taught both languages at a range of top UK schools, including Dulwich College, Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School and Mulberry School for Girls. Ms Paramo gained a first in a joint honours degree in Modern Languages & Linguistics from Pembroke College, Oxford University, and a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages from Roehampton University. She has also completed a master’s degree in Language Acquisition at Toulouse University in France.