Known as the Voice of Latin America, Gabriel García Marquez is one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential authors.
The Colombian writer pushed the Latin American narrative to the front line of the world’s literature with timeless masterpieces in magical realism.
As an award-winning novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and journalist, the record of Gracía Marquez’s works is long and full of literary gems.
But for those new to this writing phenomenon, we’ve put together a list of the best Gabriel García Marquez books of all time to make sure you don’t miss out on any bit of his fantastical novels.
Keep reading to find out more about Gabriel García Marquez and his best books.
9 Best Gabriel García Marquez That You Must Read
Said to have “more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry than is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man” by the Washington Post, there’s no doubt about One Hundred Years of Solitude being one of the most influential literary works of our time.
This dazzling masterpiece follows the epic journey of the foundation, greatness, and decline of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of its most illustrious family, the Buendiá.
Almost unparalleled as a magical and poet tale, this novel is amusing, imaginative, magnetic, tragic, and alive with characters presenting truth and compassion in a captivating style that strikes the soul.
This modern literary classic and international bestseller is an astonishingly powerful love story of passion and tragedy. The events of Love in the Time of Cholera take place at the end of the 19th century in a small Caribbean town.
Florentino Ariza, a poor young telegrapher at the time, and Fermina Daza, a charming schoolgirl, fall passionately in love then swear to marry and live happily ever after. But then Fermina chooses to marry a wealthy doctor, leaving Florentino devastated.
However, like a true romantic, he reserves his heart for Fermina and declares his love once again at her husband’s funeral fifty years, nine months, and four days after he did it the first time.
A novel where the fascinating humor and imagination of the distinguished Colombian writer is let loose, Chronicle of a Death Foretold is an amazing fiction that portrays the eternal themes of honor and fatality.
The story revolves about a man who returns to a town where a bewildering murder tool place 27 years and he’s determined to crack the case.
Only hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, her new husband returns her in disgrace to her parents. Then the distraught family managed to get her to admit the name of her first lover – Santiago Nasar.
The Vicario brothers announce their intention to murder Santiago, who’s found dead outside his house at dawn that morning. Everyone knew that this murder was going to happen, but why did no one stop it?
A uniquely unsettling and memorable love story, Of Love and Other Demons is a majestic tale of the most universal experiences known to a man and a woman.
The story starts out in 1942 when the remains of the teenager Sierva Maria de Todos Los Angeles were unearthed during building works in a Latin American convent.
The strange discovery of her 22-meter long hair unveiled a dark love story that took place in the joyous and decadent Cartagena in the mid-18th century.
Sierva Maria, the only child of a falling noble family, was twelve when she was bitten by a rabid dog. Suspected to be possessed, she’s locked in a convent where she lives with Don Cayetano Delaura, her exorcist.
Shockingly enough, he falls in love with her despite the holy water and sacramental oils, and it’s not long until she feels the same.
One of Gabriel García Marquez’s most recent works, Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a delicate, knowing, and slyly comic novel.
It tells the story, in the first person, of an old man who decides to give himself a wild night of passion with a virgin on his ninetieth birthday.
He has purchased hundreds of ladies throughout his life, so as is his habit, he asks a madam for help on the matter.
He is then presented with a fourteen-year-old girl who is very enchanting but equally exhausted from taking care of her siblings and her job sewing buttons that all she can do is sleep.
With a sleeping beauty at his side, the protagonist finds love when the only adventure left in his life is death.
Recognized as one of the Colombian’s most ambitious and intricate works, The Autumn of the Patriarch was written with incredible precision to depict a glorious tale of a Caribbean tyrant and the corruption of power.
The dictator, who also happens to be the protagonist, represents the best and the worst of human nature from peace to violence, kindness to deceit, and fear of God to extreme cruelty.
García Marquez vividly describes the life of the dying tyrant who’s caught in the prison of his own lust for power.
Full of symbolic descriptions artfully employed with an innovative style, this novel takes you to a surreal world of fact and fantasy.
Mixing fiction with history, The General in His Labyrinth tells the story of General Simon Bolivar “the Liberator” of five South American countries, who takes one last blue journey down the Magdalena River with only a few days left to live.
Revisiting cities and reliving his passions, triumphs, and betrayals, Bolivar demonstrates a charming and successful character despite the failure of his grand dream of unifying the continent.
He still moves with such skill and enthusiasm that no one can truly believe he’s so close to death.
Caught between memories of power and lost ambition, this spectacular piece is a show of how much a man can win, and lose, in life.
In 1955, Gabriel García Marquez was working for a newspaper in Bogota, called El Espectador. In February of the same year, eight crew members of the Colombian destroyer, the Caldas, were washed overboard and lost in the sea.
After ten days from their tragic disappearance, one of the crew members was found on a deserted beach in northern Colombia, barely alive.
This exciting novel, which originally debuted as a series of newspaper articles, is García Marquez’s take of the sailor’s suffering.
This book is a collection of twelve amazing short stories loosely related to one another. These stories were originally written during the 1970s and 80s but weren’t published until 1992. A few of these include:
● In Barcelona, an old Brazilian prostitute teaches her dog to weep at the grave she has chosen as her resting place.
● In Geneva, a local ambulance driver and his wife take in the seemingly dying ex-president of a Caribbean country, only to find out that his political plans are still intact.
● In Vienna, a woman uses her gift for seeing the future to land a fortune-telling job with a rich family.
The lives of Latin Americans inspired these stories in Europe as the Colombian literary genius conveys the sorrow, aspiration, and perseverance of the émigré experience.
Check out our list of Gabriel García Marquez’s most inspiring quotes!
Gabriel García Marquez Biography Facts
Where was Gabriel García Marquez Born and Raised?
Gabriel García Marquez was born in the sleepy provincial town of Aracataca, Columbia. He and his family lived there for the first eight years of his life, then they moved to Barranquilla, a river port.
When was Gabríel Garcia Marquez Born and When Did He Die?
Gabriel García Marquez was born on March 6th, 1927. He died on April 17th, 2014 at the age of 87.
What was Gabriel García Marquez’s Life Like?
Born in Colombia, Gabriel García Márquez and his parents spent the first years of his early life with his maternal grandparents, Colonel Nicolás Márquez and Tranquilina Iguarán Cotes de Márquez. After his grandfather passed away, the family moved to Barranquilla.
Gabo, as he was known throughout Latin America, received a better-than-average education but later claimed that his most important literary sources were the short stories that Nicolás had told him about Aracataca and his family.
Despite studying law, García Márquez became a journalist, where he earned his living before achieving literary fame. As a correspondent in Paris during the 1950s, he developed his education by reading a lot of American literature, some of it was even translated to French.
In the late 1950s and early 60s, García Marquez worked in Bogotá, Colombia, and then in New York City for Prensa Latina – the news service created by the regime of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He then moved to Mexico City where he wrote the novel that established his fame and brought him wealth and recognition.
He lived in Spain from 1967 to 1975 while keeping a house in Mexico City and another apartment in Paris. He also spent lots of time in Havana, where he was provided by a mansion Castro (whom García Márquez supported).
What was Gabriel García Marquez’s Career Like?
● Before 1967, García Márquez had two novels published: La hojarasca (1955 – The Leaf Storm) and La mala hora (1962 – In Evil Hour). He also published a novella: El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (1961- No One Writes to the Colonel), as well as a few short stories.
● Then in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude was published. In this world-class masterpiece, García Márquez introduced a combination of realism and fantasy that is now known as “magic realism”.
● Continuing his magisterial output, García Márquez wrote El otoño del patriarca (1975 – The Autumn of the Patriarch), Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold), El amor en los tiempos del cólera (1985 – Love in the Time of Cholera), El general en su laberinto (1989 – The General in His Labyrinth), and Del amor y otros demonios (1994 – Of Love and Other Demons).
● In 1996, García Márquez published a journalistic chronicle of drug-related kidnappings in his native Colombia, Noticia de un secuestro (News of a Kidnapping).
● After his diagnosis of cancer in 1999, García Márquez wrote the memoir Vivir para contarla (2002 – Living to Tell the Tale), which focuses on his first 30 years.
● Gracía Marquez returned to fiction with Memoria de mis putas tristes (2004 – Memories of My Melancholy Whores).
Besides writing books, novels, and short stories, Gracía Marquez also has an exceptional collection of movies to his name which includes:
● Love in the Time of Cholera – 2007
● Chronicle of a Death Foretold – 1987
● Eréndira – 1983
● No One Writes to the Colonel – 1999
● Of Love and Other Demons – 2009
● The Summer of Miss Forbes – 1989
● Letters from the Park – 1988
● Presage – 1975
What Awards did Gabriel García Marquez Win?
With such a tremendous record of world-famous works, it should come as no surprise that Gabriel García Marquez’s list of awards is just as extensive and equally impressive.
● In 1969, he was awarded the French literary prize Prix du Meilleur livre étranger for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
● In 1972, he was awarded the Rómulo Gallegos Prize by the Venezuelan government for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, as well as the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
● In 1975, he was awarded the Ariel Award (Mexican Academy of Film Award) for Best Original Story and the Ariel Award for Best Screenplay for Cinema, both for the movie Presage.
● In 1980, he was awarded the Ariel Award for Best Screenplay for Cinema for the movie The year of the plague.
● In 1980, he was awarded the Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service.
● In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Looking at his exceptional works, there’s no wonder that Gabriel García Marquez has secured his place in the world’s literary hall of fame.
If you’re not sure which book you should grab first (we know, they all seem so good!), we recommend you kick things off with what many consider to be the créme de la créme of García Marquez novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Gabriel García Marquez has said some inspiring things. Check our favorite Gabriel García Marquez inspirational quotes list!