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One Hundred Years of Solitude
In the best-known – and perhaps most dazzling – novel to come out of Latin America, Colombia’s favourite son takes us on a magic carpet ride through his country’s turbulent past.
Historical fact is liberally mixed with fantasy in a saga that spans six generations of the Buendia family. The Buendias have great strengths as well as fatal flaws, which play out in the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo in the South American jungle. Macondo, “an intricate stew of truth and mirages”, bears more than a passing resemblance to the author’s own home town of Aracataca on the Colombian coast.
In this sweep of history as seen through the eyes of a single family – all of whose males are named Arcadio or Aureliano – civil war rages, lives are lost, hearts break and dreams shatter. The looping chronology, along with generations of Buendias sharing names and characteristics, gives us history as a story of repetition and return. That keeps readers on their toes in this enthralling and highly comic novel.
With this book, the master of magic realism took a giant step towards winning the Nobel prize for literature in 1982. Pushpinder Khaneka
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