Friday, April 18, 2014

Five essential works by Gabriel García Márquez

Spurred by the author's death this week, the Telegraph's Sameer Rahim tagged five essential works by Gabriel García Márquez, including:
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; English translation 1970)

This remarkable novel catapulted García Márquez from being a well-regarded Colombian writer to an international star – especially after it was translated into English by Gregory Rabassa in 1970. (The author claimed, somewhat mischievously, that he preferred the English version to his own Spanish.) One Hundred Years of Solitude launched the vogue for South American magical realism – in which the mundane and miraculous exist side-by-side – that would later influence Salman Rushdie and Louis de Bernières among others. Set in the fictional town of Macondo, the novel follows the fortunes – or rather misfortunes – of the Buendía family. Multiple characters share the same name – there are three Aurelianos – and their lives fade into one another in a dreamlike way. In one of many famous magical events, Remedios the Beauty rises to heaven holding a white sheet. Absorbing and exhilarating, this can also be a frustrating book to read if you’re looking for linear plot development. The secret to enjoying Solitude is to forget trying to make perfect sense of it all and abandon yourself to this intoxicating world of strange gipsies, brutal soldiers and ingenious prostitutes.
Read about the other books on the list.

One Hundred Years of Solitude made Isabel Allende's list of six favorite books, Sara Jonsson's list of five books to read when you can't go to sleep, Juan Gabriel Vásquez's five best list of novels about South America, Pushpinder Khaneka's list of three of the best books on Colombia, Michael Jacobs's list of the top ten Colombian stories, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families and Rebecca Stott's five best list of historical novels. It is one of Lynda Bellingham's six best books, Walter Mosley's five favorite books, Eric Kraft's five most important books, and James Patterson's five most important books.

--Marshal Zeringue