I once took a class on colonialism and literature at UCLA and One Hundred Years of Solitude was the main text. We read it and talked about the United Fruit Company and the exploitation of worker and harvest, not hearing the great man commenting that the book should not be taken so seriously, that it is in part a series of riffs and insider jokes between him and his friends. But even if we did hear him, it wouldn’t have made a difference. A book like this must be given its chops. It is a masterwork, stunning, surprising, story upon story, fictitious history applied over lived history, ornate language, great humor, humanity, fantastic imagery (a soil-eating woman and a spill of tiny yellow flowers) and a family with all of its stuff, love-troubles and jealousies and quarrels and hungers, insatiable and otherwise, and solitudes stretched over a century. It’s a read like no other.
The Paris Review interviews Gabo.
Dirt eaters: “The first theory is that pica satisfies hunger.” Beth Ann Fennelly, Oxford American
“It would be easier to imagine the world without a certain color than without A Hundred Years of Solitude.” Invitation to World Literature, Annenberg Foundation