Magical Realism, a genre, a style of fiction with roots often attributed to South American authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marques in his book, Cien años de soledad, a hundred years of solitude. This definition or origin is purely the fruit of a handful of university don´s heatedly inspired imaginations, and desire to impose upon literature their personal mark.
In fact this Genre is often used as an inspired device, not only by writers wishing to speak euphemistically of dark episodes in the history of colonialism, as our learned bretheren allege, but to deal with a multitude of situations in history and the present time, when the device fits more aptly than would lame reality.
Louis de Bernieres in his masterful trilogy based in South America, coincidentally, uses magical realism most wonderfully, to perhaps cover dark happenings in some instances, but also and mainly in pursuit of humour and a degree of happy levity in the telling of a tale.