You’ve read and loved ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude‘ by Gabriel García Márquez — what’s next?
During his life, Gabriel García Márquez authored six novels, multiple novellas and short story collections, and dozens of screenplays, in addition to winning the 1985 Nobel Prize in Literature. Today, on the 95th anniversary of his birth, we’re focusing on three novels that may not have read by the legendary Colombian writer.
1. The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975)
After witnessing the fall of Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Márquez set out to write a novel about dictatorial power. Autumn of the Patriarch is the story of a fictional dictator of a fictional Latin American country and the grotesque extent of his power. It’s written in a lyrical, meandering style meant to represent his delusional state of mind.
True to Márquez’s magical realist style of storytelling, the dictator’s reign lasts over two hundred years, and his sheer scale of geopolitical debts and assets in the novel implies leaders do things like buying and selling seas — America takes control of the Caribbean Sea and transports it to Arizona, leaving a crater where it once sat.
2. In Evil Hour (1962)
In Evil Hour is Márquez’s first published novel. It too focuses on themes of political corruption and dictatorial rule. In the book, a fictional Colombian town starts seeing the secrets and wrongdoings of its villagers posted on notices in the streets, which results in violent reactions from the townspeople. The mayor uses the disorder as an excuse to tighten his control over his people and abuse his power.
3. Of Love and Other Demons (1994)
Márquez’s final novel of his lifetime scales down his typical political scope and focuses on the power dynamics of love. Particularly, love between a younger girl named Sierva Maria and a priest, Father Cayetano Delaura, at the convent she was sent to for an exorcism after her 18th-century seaport town believes she was possessed from a rabid dog bite. The story follows their feelings and the secret relationship that they conduct in her convent cell.
The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has made much of Gabriel García Márquez’s catalogue available for free online! Read more about that here.