One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

We find the following words in William Blake’s poem Auguries of Innocence. (1803)

‘To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour’.

As a comparable thought, would it be possible to embrace all the themes of human life in one piece of fiction? In a fabulous creative act of compactment Gabriel García Márquez ( has somehow managed to distil the nature of human existence into a single novel. One Hundred Years of Solitude (‘Cien años de soledad’, 1967) is the story of seven generations of the Buendía Family whose patriach has founded the town of Macondo. Expect to encounter most of the big themes of human life – power, love, corruption, war, family conflict, ageing and despair- all mirrored through the kaleidoscope of magic realism. (

To set the life and work of García Márquez  in context go to The Cambridge Introduction to Gabriel García Márquez (2012) by Gerald Martin (

If the appetite is whetted reach for The Cambridge Companion to Gabriel García Márquez (2010) edited by Philip Swanson (

For a recent life try Martin, Gerald (2008), Gabriel García Márquez: A Life London: Bloomsbury (

For an account of the making of ‘Cien años’ read an article in Vanity Fair available at the link

Enquire at your local library here Home | South Lanarkshire Libraries ( or consult  for full bibliographic detail.

432 pages in Penguin Modern Classics paperback edition

First published 1967

ISBN 978-0141184999

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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