The Master of Magical Realism: Gabriel García Márquez

Born in Aracataca, Colombia, on this day in 1928, Gabriel García Marquez is hailed as one of the pioneers of magic realism and perhaps the most prominent voice of Latin American literature. He has received international recognition for his novels, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories and in 1982 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. As today would have been his 91st birthday, we thought we would show you some of our favourite books by Gabriel García Márquez.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

One of the world’s most famous novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude blends the natural with the supernatural in on one of the most magical reading experiences on earth.
Gabriel García Marquez’s great masterpiece is the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and its miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book, and only Aureliano Buendia can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a compelling, moving story exploring injustice and mob hysteria.
Santiago Nasar is brutally murdered in a small town by two brothers. All the townspeople knew it was going to happen – including the victim. But nobody did anything to prevent the killing. Twenty seven years later, a man arrives in town to try and piece together the truth from the contradictory testimonies of the townsfolk. To at last understand what happened to Santiago, and why.

 

No One Writes to the Colonel

García Marquez tells a powerful tale of poverty and undying hope in his moving 69 page novel No One Writes to the Colonel.
Fridays are different. Every other day of the week, the Colonel and his ailing wife fight a constant battle against poverty and monotony, scraping together the dregs of their savings for the food and medicine that keeps them alive. But on Fridays the postman comes – and that sets a fleeting wave of hope rushing through the Colonel’s ageing heart. For fifteen years he’s watched the mail launch come into harbour, hoping he’ll be handed an envelope containing the army pension promised to him all those years ago. Whilst he waits for the cheque, his hopes are pinned on his prize bird and the upcoming cockfighting season. But until then the bird – like the Colonel and his wife – must somehow be fed.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a powerful novel about a man who so far has never felt love. On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a newspaper columnist in Colombia decides to give himself ‘a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent’. But on seeing this beautiful girl he falls deeply under her spell. His love for his ‘Delgadina’ causes him to recall all the women he has paid to perform acts of love. And so the columnist realises he must chronicle the life of his heart, to offer it freely to the world.

The General in His Labyrinth

The General in his Labyrinth is the compelling tale of Simon Bolivar, a hero who has been forgotten and whose power is fading, retracing his steps down the Magdalena River. At the age of forty-six General Simon Bolivar, who drove the Spanish from his lands and became the Liberator of South America, takes himself into exile. He makes a final journey down the Magdalene River, revisiting the cities along its shores, reliving the triumphs, passions and betrayals of his youth. Consumed by the memories of what he has done and what he failed to do, Bolivar hopes to see a way out of the labyrinth in which he has lived all his life

Love in the Time of Cholera

Florentino Ariza is a hopeless romantic who falls passionately for the beautiful Fermina Daza, but finds his love tragically rejected. Instead Fermina marries a distinguished doctor, while Florentino can only wait silently for her. He can never forget his first and only love. Then, fifty-one years, nine months and four days later, Fermina’s husband dies unexpectedly. At last Florentino has another chance to declare his eternal passion and discover if a love that has endured for over half a century will remain unrequited. This is a rich fantastical and humane celebration of love in all its many forms.

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