Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Most Life-Changing Works

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Every reader has a Gabriel García Márquez story. I'd like to think mine began long before I was born, when my father won a small edition of Cien años de soledade during a college speech competition. He's carried it with him ever since, and though I could never quite read the dense Spanish type, we lived together, that book and I, for my entire childhood. Decades after my father met Márquez, a boy gave me the English translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude during one of those sad, endless college summers. I always trick myself into thinking that the boy wrote something inside the book's front cover, but whenever I go back to check, there's no inscription there. That's the effect Márquez has on me, though. When I read him, love hovers on the page like a mirage.

I asked some of my favorite authors and literary figures to name their favorite Márquez work, and not surprisingly, almost everyone remembered a line, a mood, a moment. That's the effect Márquez has on people, I guess. You never forget a writer like that.

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