BOOKS
04/17/2014 08:52 pm ET | Updated Apr 18, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez' Most Influential Works Transformed 20th Century Literature

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Esteemed Colombian author, beloved father and husband, and seasoned journalist Gabriel García Márquez died at his home in Mexico City on Thursday at age 87.

The globally celebrated Nobel laureate is widely considered the most influential Spanish writer of the 20th century and has been compared with Hemingway, Faulkner and Mark Twain. Many of his enchanting literary works employed magical realism, a literally style he pioneered that blurs fantasy with reality.

García Márquez’s literary works, from short stories to novellas, often involved themes of isolation, family, love, violence and identity.

Here are five of his most influential works:

  • One Hundred Years Of Solitude
    One Hundred Years of Solitude, published in 1967, went on to sell 50 million copies and was published in 25 languages. Márquez's Nobel Prize-winning novel follows 100 years in the life and death of the mythical South American town of Macondo. Employing stunning magic realism, García Márquez created an instant classic.
  • Love In The Time Of Cholera
    At its heart, Love in the Time of Cholera is a story about love and all of its forms. Loosely based on García Márquez's parents' romance, the novel revolves around a torrid love triangle at a Caribbean city by the sea. García Márquez beautifully portrays the wild and ridiculous roller coaster of emotions that love inspires. One of the great quotes from the book: "He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
  • Chronicle Of A Death Foretold
    This surreal novella begins with a murder and builds its characters' stories beautifully with each page turn. The New York Review of Books said of the novella: “This investigation of an ancient murder takes on the quality of a hallucinatory exploration, a deep, groping search into the gathering darkness of human intentions for a truth that continually slithers away.”
  • Autumn Of The Patriarch
    Márquez's 1975 book is a stunning, yet terrifying portrait of dictatorship through the lens of a Caribbean tyrant. Autumn of the Patriarch is a complex and technical masterpiece that showcases García Márquez's brilliance in storytelling and unconventional style (stream of consciousness, lengthy run-on sentences and next-to-no paragraph breaks). Though it can be tough to get through the first few pages because of the style, it's definitely worth sticking with!
  • The General In His Labyrinth
    García Márquez's literary tour de force is a fictional account of the last days of the South American Gen. Simon Bolivar, a true Latin American hero who liberated five countries in the 1800s. It is a charming portrayal of an incredible man's life in politics, love and war.

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