Magical realist fiction typically shares key commonalities with environmental literature, including a biocentric view that regards everything in the world as being interconnected; a transgressive nature that dismantles binaries (such as human and animal); and, frequently, a postcolonial perspective that highlights environmental degradation caused by imperialism. Writers of magical realism develop new kinds of expression to convey ideas that challenge dominant ontologies and epistemologies, especially the scientific rationalism of the West. Magical realism’s capacity to present alternative world views addresses the crisis of imagination that has brought about climate change and the threat of the human species becoming extinct. The Introduction advocates reading magical realist fiction in a world literature context and adopting a minimalist approach to defining the narrative mode. In addition, the Introduction employs genre theory to point out the limitations of magical realism as a tool for literary analysis, arguing that a text may participate in magical realism rather than belonging to it.