Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. García Márquez started as a journalist, but is best known for his novels, including One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have helped popularize magic realism as a literary style. García Márquez was born on this day in 1927.
The nonlinear, multi-generational One Hundred Years of Solitude is my wife Heidi’s very favorite book and Gabriel García Márquez is her favorite author. I love magic realism and I agree that García Márquez is a pretty fantastic craftsman of richly detailed run-on sentences. But I was stunned that nearly every character in his famous century-spanning book is named José Arcadio or Aureliano. I am not exaggerating when I state that there are 22 characters named Aureliano in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Twenty-two. If you put this novel down for a few days, you too can share the farcical experience of having to cross-reference a family tree to remember which members of which generation are being talking about in a given chapter—even when you know that history repeating is the point and it almost doesn’t matter. I do like to experience how the world feels from García Márquez’s unique perspective.