Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Magic Realism: 'Loser' by Aimee Bender
There are many facets to all of our themes, and Magic is no exception. Yesterday, we spent some time learning about the literary genre magic realism, in which magical or unreal elements accent stories that are otherwise grounded in reality (as opposed to books like the Harry Potter series, which are straight fantasy.)
We read a short story by Aimee Bender, in which a young boy develops the peculiar power to sense the location of misplaced objects; car keys, hairbrushes, and... other things.
The full text of Bender's story is below, along with a link to an episode of the radio program This American Life, where it was once read aloud in an episode.
It's a short story that yielded some very insightful conversations:
- Why is it called Loser?
- Who is the young man talking to at the end?
- What would it be like to have this power?
- What do people think of him?
- What does he think of himself?
- Is he a happy character?
'Loser' by Aimee Bender on This American Life
by Aimee Bender
(This story is collected in her book The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, an excellent collection of short stories, most of which I would not recommend the kids read until they're a little older.)