Reading lists

Where to start reading Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s books

To mark the publication of Until August, we explore the body of work from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century to kick start your reading journey.

Image of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his book covers
Image credit: Ulf Andersen

Journalist, short story writer and novelist Gabriel García Márquez is widely considered one of the greatest writers the world has ever known. For many readers and fans, his death in April 2014 marked an end to his extraordinary body of work. That is, until now – with the publication of his final complete manuscript.

After a decade locked away in an archive at the University of Texas, Márquez's two sons made the decision to publish their father's final complete novel. Until August is a meditation on freedom, regret and the mysteries of love.

To celebrate this landmark publication, we are delving into the captivating world of the Novel Prize-winning author's novels to present you with the perfect reading order to help you immerse yourselves in his literary universe.

Leaf Storm (1955)

Before you start with some of Márquez's more famous books, this novella – first published in 1955 – is the first appearance of Macondo, the fictional town which frequently features in his writing.

Set entirely in one room, during a rainy Wednesday afternoon in 1928, an old colonel is trying to give a Christian burial to an unpopular doctor who has died. There is no one to mourn him but, due to a promise made many years ago, the colonel and his family must find a way to give him a proper send-off.  

Even if you are a brand-new reader to the work of Márquez, chances are you will still have heard of this novel.

One Hundred Years of Solitude was Márquez's masterpiece and propelled him into literary fame. It's also the perfect introduction to the magical realism genre he became renowned for.

It tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family, as they live through the trials and tribulations of a rural Colombian town.

Until August (2024)
It may be Márquez’s final novel, published 10 years after his death, and some readers may want to save it until last, but this gripping exploration of desire, freedom, and the mysteries of love is not to be missed.

At the centre of the story is Ana Magdalena Back who, every August, travels to her late mother's resting place and – despite being happily married – takes a new lover for a one-night affair. Until August is a journey into the hinterland of desire and the fear felt as a result.

Moving onto a novel steeped in romance and the complexities of love, Love in the Time of Cholera is also one of Márquez’s best-known pieces of work, which was brought to the big screen in 2007, starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Javier Bardem.

Flitting between the past and present narratives, we follow the lives of Florentino and Fermina, whose love is thwarted by societal expectations. Over 50 years, Florentino remains faithful, while Fermina marries a doctor. When Fermina's husband dies 51 years later, Florentino has another chance to declare his feelings – but can young love find new life in their twilight years?

Now you have found your way into the universe of Márquez, this short story collection should be next on your reading list. It tells the story of Eréndira, a young girl forced into servitude by her cruel grandmother, and if you have followed this reading guide then you just may recognise this duo from One Hundred Years of Solitude where they make an appearance.

When their home burns down after Eréndira falls asleep without extinguishing her candle, her grandmother hawks her to soldiers, smugglers and traders in order to repay the debt. But will the love of a man save her from the living hell?

In what was believed to be his final novel, until the publication of Until August this year, Of Love and Other Demons was inspired by an old legend told to a young Márquez by his grandmother.

It follows Sierva Maria, a young girl bitten by a rabid dog and believed to be possessed. Sent to a convent, she falls in forbidden love with priest Cayetano Delaura. Marquez weaves magical realism, religious fervour, and a scandalous romance into this captivating tale.

We complete our whirlwind journey away from fiction and into the words from the man himself; this complete collection of speeches is the best gateway into learning about Márquez and his talent for language and creating impactful speeches.

From an early talk given as a teenager graduating high school to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, they offer an insight into the life and world Márquez inhibited.

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