In the book which put South America on the literary map, Marquez tells the haunting story of a community in which the political, the personal and the spiritual worlds interwine.
'Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.' Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where Jose Arcadio Buendia and his strong-willed wife, Ursula, have started their new life.
As the mysterious Melquiades excites Aureliano Buendia's father with new inventions and tales of adventure, neither can know the significance of the indecipherable manuscript that the old gypsy passes into their hands. Through plagues of insomnia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendia household push memories of the manuscript aside. Few remember its existence and only one will discover the hidden message that it holds...
This new edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's most celebrated novel is published to coincide with celebrations to mark the 80th birthday of this Nobel Prize winning author in 2007.
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927- ) was born in Aracataca, Colombia. His most recent book, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, is his first new novel to be published in a decade and is available in paperback from Penguin from August 2007. He is the author of several novels and collections of short stories, including Leaf Storm (1955); One Hundred Years of Solitude
(1967); The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975); Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and The General in His Labyrinth (1989). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
As a Nobel Prize for Literature winner (1982), Gabriel Garcia Marquez has already been acknowledged as one of the greatest writers of this century. The hugely influential One Hundred Years of Solitude
is a novel with magnificent scope and panoramic perspective, formed by his much lauded 'magic realism' style. The town of Macondo and its fatalistic inhabitants are weaved into a story which is simultaneously complex and simple. From the moment when the gypsy Melquiades arrives in the land-locked settlement of Macondo with his inventions from beyond the water, and the first of the Buendia family embarks on his craze for alchemy, readers around the world understood that a new kind of fiction had arrived. Though it was for Marquez's visions of levitating laundry and showers of butterflies that the coinage 'magic realism' came to be minted, the novel is loved no less for its understanding of the way the human psyche finds itself so frequently teetering on a terrifying pinnacle between longing and refusal than for its colossal inventions in the natural world. (Kirkus UK)