On Thursday, April 17th , the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, a Titan of Latin American Literature, passed away after a long battle with lymphatic cancer.
Gabo, as he is affectionately called in Spanish, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. His work was known around the world as the most emblematic example of magical realism, a literary genre that appeals to the masses as well as critics because of its social and political outcry delivered through stories full of wonders and miracles.
His career was not devoid of controversy. He had a long-time friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, for which many considered him a kind of naïve leftist who failed to understand the harsh realities of the Cuban dictatorship.
Also, for a while, magical realism, and thus García Márquez, its most prominent producer, was dismissed in Latin American literary circles as having devolved into cheap folklore, obscuring literary substance and being instead a kind of colorful trinket sold to tourists. In the opinion of this blogger, the blame for watering down the genre is more justly assigned to writers like Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate, DB 36256), and Isabel Allende (House of the Spirits, DB 21524). You be the judge.
In the end I am certain that, whether you re-visit Gabo’s work or read it for the first time, its power and beauty will delight and haunt you. His stories will, without a doubt, enrich your reading life by taking you to times and places you never knew existed.
Collected Stories. DB 22862 (9 hours, 44 mins.) Includes the stories “Eyes of a Blue Dog”, “Big Mama’s Funeral”, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, and “The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother.”
Collected Novellas. DB 34384 (8 hours, 31 mins.) Includes “Leaf Storm”, “No One Writes to the Colonel”, and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold.”
Chronicle of a Death Foretold. 1983. DB 19217 (2 hours, 52 mins.)
News of a Kidnapping. 1997. DB 44812 (10 hours, 46 mins.)
Love in the Time of Cholera. 1988. DB 26981 (14 hours, 23 mins.)
Of Love and Other Demons. 1995. DB 40555 (4 hours, 47 mins.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1967. DB 59490 (14 hours, 33 minutes.)
Living to Tell the Tale. 2003. DB 57362 (17 hours, 21 mins.)
Memories of my Melancholy Whores. 2005. DB 61195 (2 hours, 43 mins.)