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Gabriel García Márquez: Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold)

The book starts off The day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at 5.30 in the morning… so we know that he is to die. We very soon learn why (he had apparently deflowered Angela Vicario before she got married) and by whom (her brothers, intent – though not entirely willingly – on defending the family honour). Santiago himself almost seems to accept the inevitability of his death and we, the unwitting witnesses, are left powerless to help. We are not the only witnesses, as many of the other characters in the book are aware what is going to happen and accept it as right or are reluctant, for other reasons, to intervene. Yes, this is an attack on old-fashioned Latin American concepts of honour and masculine control of women but it is also a very clever way of making us all complicit in the action while, at the same time, gradually revealing the “truth” – if truth there is – layer by layer.

Publishing history

First published in Spanish 1981 by Bruguera
First published in English 1982 by Jonathan Cape
Translated by Gregory Rabassa