It has been nearly a month since Gabriel García Márquez died, and it seems that his death is still reverberating around the world. People are talking about his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and even readers who may have found it challenging before are picking it up again and reading it through. This novel, which won García Márquez the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, is perhaps literature’s best example of the literary style known as magic realism or magical realism. This style, which García Márquez used and developed to the point of making it is own, presents extraordinary and magical occurrences within the context of reality, the way he says his grandmother used to tell stories.
Another of his important works, Love in the Time of Cholera, may be known to a wider audience since it, along with Solitude, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and it was made into a movie in 2007.
These two novels, showcasing García Márquez’s masterful storytelling, could serve as a writing course for aspiring writers. But the great works of García Márquez don’t stop there. He wrote short stories, novellas, and nonfiction as well. The novella, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, is something of a reverse detective story that is told backward. News of a Kidnapping is a nonfiction account of a series of kidnappings masterminded by Pablo Escobar in the 1990s to put pressure on the government so he could avoid extradition.
On the website, The Modern Word, García Márquez, also known as Gabo, is described as follows:
“Whether writing short stories, epic novels, or nonfiction, Gabo is above all a brilliant storyteller, and his writing is a tribute to both the power of the imagination and the mysteries of the human heart. In Gabo’s world, where flowers rain from the sky and dictators sell the very ocean, reality is subject to emotional truths as well as physical boundaries. It is a world of great beauty and great cruelty; a world where love brings both redemption and enslavement; and a world where the lines between objective reality and dreams are hopelessly blurred. It is a world very much like our own.”
Reading a variety of authors helps writers improve their writing. As things such as style, language, and pacing are observed and internalized, writers, consciously or unconsciously, find bits and pieces that appeal to them and that they can use to develop their own unique approach. We can all learn a great deal from García Márquez.