Once upon a time, fifty years ago, there was a book called One Hundred Years of Solitude. It was an obscure book by an unknown author published by a press called Sudamericana Press but some books have an unforeseen destiny.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude went on to sell over 45 million copies, solidified its stature as a literary classic, and garnered García Márquez fame and acclaim as one of the greatest Spanish-language writers in history.”
The story How One Hundred Years of Solitude Became a Classic by Alvaro Santana Acuna chronicles how this happened. The acquisitions editor of the Argentine press knew that Marquez did not have a great publishing history and Marquez himself was nervous. Yet this was a time of great literary ferment in Latin America- take Borges, Vargas Llosa, and Fuentes. Social realism was losing its flavor and writers were beginning to appreciate the fantastical novel though it is argued by some that One Hundred Years of Solitude is a social novel at best, a story of Latin America. Why does the novel continue to retain its popularity?
Some of it has to do with interest in climate change, besides the quality and texture of the reading experience the book presents. Read the article, and read the book if you haven’t yet.