There's an article by Colleen Gillard over on The Atlantic that raises some interesting points. Ms Gillard's contention is that British kids' literature is more fantastical than American, and that the innate pragmatism and Puritanism in the American soul means that fantasy fiction produced there is less magical, more practical. It's the difference, I suppose, between a wizard and a "magic-user".
'...the difference between the countries may be that Americans “lack the kind of ironic humor needed for questioning the reliability of reality”...Well, maybe. Although if you read Steinbeck's story "The Affair at 7 Rue de M — "or "Miriam" by Truman Capote, or anything at all by Ray Bradbury, you may feel that there's no one-size-fits-all here. And after all, wasn't the colonization of fantasy by logic and taxonomy begun by Tolkien, as British a writer as they come?
“American stories are rooted in realism; even our fantasies are rooted in realism."The debate will rage on, but Colleen Gillard has hit on a kernel of truth here, I suspect. At any rate, it's well worth taking a look at the piece and, if you have any thoughts on the subject, jump in and join the discussion below.