Garcia Marquez began writing short stories in the late 1940s. His first major publication was La hojarasca (1955; Leafstorm and Other Stories). In this story first appears the fictional Colombian village of Macondo--the setting of much of his later work--and the combination of realism and fantasy characteristic of his style.
El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (1961), which first appeared in the Colombian magazine Mito in 1958, relates the story of an aged war veteran whose service remains unrecognized by the country for which he fought. It was translated together with a collection of short stories, Los funerales de la Mama Grande (1962), under the title No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories (1968). During this period Garcia Marquez also published La mala hora (1962; In Evil Hour), a story of political repression in Macondo.
It was during his first stay in Mexico that Garcia Marquez wrote his best-known novel, Cien anos de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude), which recounts the history of Macondo and its founders, the Buendia family. It is also a history of Colombia and, on its highest level, a presentation of the myth and legend of human experience. The dense, convoluted style of this and other works recalls that of the American novelist William Faulkner.
With Mario Vargas Llosa, Garcia Marquez produced a volume of literary criticism, La novela en America Latina (1968). An episode in Cien anos gave rise to the collection of short stories titled La increible y triste historia de la candida Erendira y de su abuela deselmada (1972; Innocent Erendira and Other Stories). Another series of stories was published as Ojos de perro azul (1972; "Eyes of a Blue Dog"). He later wrote El otono del patriarca (1975; The Autumn of the Patriarch), a satire on Latin American military dictators; and Cronica de una muerte anunciada (1981; Chronicle of a Death Foretold), which examines the events surrounding a murder for honour in a Latin American town.
Garcia Marquez's subsequent novels were El amor en los tiempos del colera (1985; Love in the Time of Cholera), a meditation on fidelity in romantic love; and El general en su laberinto (1989; The General in His Labyrinth), a fictional account of the Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar during the last months of his life.
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