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Gabriel García Márquez

  Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian-born writer of astonishing skill, thought by many to be one of the world's greatest living authors. A resident of Mexico City, he is considered one of the pioneers of the Latin American "boom," and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. To read his work is to enter a world that is both enchanting in its beauty and haunting in its dreamy familiarity. The world of Gabo's fiction is a magical realm where the strange and exotic can suddenly become comfortably familiar, and the whole concept of an objective reality is put in question. Here, the borders between life and death swirl together in a gentle and mysterious twilight, and -- if we allow it to possess us -- love can strike flaming miracles from the ashes of our soul.

  One Hundred Years of Solitude

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."

With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature. --Alix Wilber

William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review

"One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. It takes up not long after Genesis left off and carries through to the air age, reporting on everything that happened in between with more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry that is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man...Mr. Garca Mrquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life."

 


  Love in the Time of Cholera

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds three people's lives together for more than fifty years. In the story of Florentino Ariza, who waits more than half a century to declare his undying love... Read more

 


  Chronicle of a Death Foretold

"EXQUISITELY HARROWING . . . . Very strange and brilliantly conceived. . . . A sort of metaphysical murder mystery. . . . The murder will stand among the innumerable murders of modern literature as one of the best and most powerfully rendered." A mysterious and haunting tale of romance and murder,... Read more

 


  Of Love and Other Demons

In a South American seaport town, during the colonial era, when the division between the rich and the poor, the church and the state, and the saint and the demon were absolute, and people strutted and fretted about appropriately, 12-year-old Mari{}a de Todos los Angeles, daughter of the marquis de... Read more

 


  Collected Stories (Perennial Classics)

John Updike,The New Yorker
"The stories are rich and startling...confident and elegant...magical."

 


More Books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

articles and reviews

from THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS - September 16, 1997

Report from an Undeclared War

by ALASTAIR REID

News of a Kidnapping

n late February of this year, just as Colombia was preparing to celebrate his seventieth birthday on March 6, Gabriel García Márquez announced from his house in Cartagena that he would not be present for the occasion. Colombia, he said, "had become an uncomfortable country, uncertain and troubling for a writer," and he was exiling himself to Mexico, where he has lived intermittently for much of his writing life.

The reaction of most Colombians was more sorrowful than angry, although a few irritated columns appeared in the press. Even so, the country went ahead with its celebrations, and the newspapers of March 6 not only took notice of the event on their front pages, but reviewed the long and fruitful writing career of their Nobel laureate and carried reminiscences of his early unheralded days by some of his oldest friends. Caracol, the radio channel to which many Colombians are addicted, ran a whole morning of remembrances, but on this occasion there was no word at all from the writer himself. Unlike the majority of Colombians, he had the choice of living elsewhere... [more]


from THE NEW YORK TIMES - April 10, 1988

THE HEART'S ETERNAL VOW

By Thomas Pynchon

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

LOVE, as Mickey and Sylvia, in their 1956 hit single, remind us, love is strange. As we grow older it gets stranger, until at some point mortality has come well within the frame of our attention, and there we are, suddenly caught between terminal dates while still talking a game of eternity. It's about then that we may begin to regard love songs, romance novels, soap operas and any live teen-age pronouncements at all on the subject of love with an increasingly impatient, not to mention intolerant, ear.

At the same time, where would any of us be without all that romantic infrastructure, without, in fact, just that degree of adolescent, premortal hope? Pretty far out on life's limb, at least. Suppose, then, it were possible, not only to swear love ''forever,'' but actually to follow through on it - to live a long, full and authentic life based on such a vow, to put one's alloted stake of precious time where one's heart is? This is the extraordinary premise of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's new novel ''Love in the Time of Cholera,'' one on which he delivers, and triumphantly... [more]


from THE NEW YORK TIMES - May 28, 1995

By Love Possessed

By A. S. Byatt;

OF LOVE AND OTHER DEMONS

BRIGHT hair twined in old bones in charnel houses is an image that perennially moves the human mind. It is an image, sinister and glittering, of the persistence of something after death. Browning and Donne startled their readers with it. Gabriel Garcia Marquez's new novel opens with a description of the author-narrator, in 1949, reporting the excavation of a convent of Clarissan nuns, and seeing "a stream of living hair the intense color of copper" spill out of the crypt. It is the hair of Sierva Maria de Todos los Angeles, a 12-year-old marquise two hundred years dead. "Of Love and Other Demons" -- translated now by Edith Grossman -- is her story, grotesque, terrible, glinting and gloomy. The world is the familiar Garcia Marquez world, a mixture of phantasmagoria and a realism whose truths seem as incredible and strange as the moments of demonic magic. The tale -- spare and swift in the telling -- has all the ineluctable, irrational fatality of "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" (1982), though the love story, also grim and driven, has none of the comic and inconsequential gentleness of "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1988)... [more]


from THE NEW YORK TIMES - February 21, 1988

GABRIEL MARQUEZ ON LOVE, PLAGUES AND POLITICS

By MARLISE SIMONS


Gabriel Garcia Marquez is about to publish ''Love in the Time of Cholera,'' a work he calls a novel of manners: the story of two people whose love, thwarted in their youth, finally flourishes when they are close to 80.

A Colombian by birth as well as by literary inspiration, he will soon be 60 and seems as busy, vigorous and playful as ever. After mediating in the early 1980's between the Colombian Government and leftist guerrillas, he has not returned to Colombia because of widespread violence there. These days, he and his wife, Mercedes, divide their time between Mexico City, their permanent home for the last 25 years, and Havana, where he is organizing and directing the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema. Film is an old love of this Nobel laureate, and the dramatic possibilities of television also fascinate him... [more]

 

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