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Gabriel García Márquez: El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Quite a few writers have written one great book and others less great. Few, at least since the beginning of the twentieth century, have written two great books. While it is generally agreed that Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years Of Solitude) is García Márquez’ masterpiece and one of the great masterpieces of the twentieth century, this book is not far behind. It is, quite simply, about love. Dr. Juvenal Urbino is a male chauvinist pig par excellence. He takes his wife, Fermina Daza, for granted. Fermina is not unloved. Florentino Ariza has loved her for many years from afar, waiting for her to become a widow, and passing his time in a variety of sexual trysts (including with his fourteen year old ward). Eventually, fifty years, nine months and four days, after first meeting her, his chance arrives, after the death of her husband. At the husband’s funeral. She rejects him and banishes him from her house. Most of the book is the early lives of the three protagonists and, once again, García Márquez paints a wonderful picture of love and the little things that make people what they are but, more particularly, he gives a no holds barred story of love in the tropics.
First published in Spanish 1985 by Oveja Negra
First published in English 1988 by Alfred A. Knopf
Translated by Edith Grossman