General Criticism
In Print

Bibliographic Guide to Gabriel García Márquez
(Bibliographies and Indexes in World Literature, No 7)

By Margaret Eustella Fau & Nelly Sfeir De Gonzalez

Bibliographic Guide to Gabriel García Márquez, 1947-1979

Greenwood Publishing Group, 1980, ISBN 0-3132-2224-X; Hardcover $59.95. [Browse/Purchase]

Bibliographic Guide to Gabriel García Márquez, 1979-1985

Greenwood Publishing Group, 1986, ISBN 0-3132-5248-3; Hardcover $72.95. [Browse/Purchase]

Bibliographic Guide to Gabriel García Márquez, 1985-1992

Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994, ISBN 0-3132-8832-1; Hardcover $104.95. [Browse/Purchase]

This work has been an evolving work in progress since 1980. Started by Margaret Fau with her Gabriel García Márquez: An Annotated Biography 1947-1979, it has grown with several successive updates.

About the 1979-1985 Edition, from Choice:
This comprehensive bibliography about García Márquez is divided into primary sources and secondary sources, with further division within those two categories.... Especially useful sections are "Chapters and Sections in Books," "Critical Articles," and "Interviews" because they allow easy access to material which would otherwise be extremely difficult to locate.

About the 1986-1992 Edition, from
This book presents a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books and articles by and about García Márquez published between 1986 and 1992. The first part of the book lists primary sources by and about García Márquez, and includes voice recordings and movies. The second part of the book brings together entries for secondary sources, including reviews.

Unfortunately, there has yet to be a single book that collects all three volumes and makes them readily accessible and reasonably priced. But nevertheless, these works represent a significant resource to García Márquez scholars.

Gabriel García Márquez
(Twayne's World Authors, No. 749)

By Raymond L. Williams
Twayne Publishing, 1984, ISBN 0-8057-6597-2; Hardcover $32.00. [

This book is an in-depth overview of Gabo's life and career up until 1981. Organized by literary periods in the author's life, the table of contents are thus:

1. Introduction and Biography
2. The Early Fiction (1948-55)
3. The Middle Years (1956-62)
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
5. The Incredible Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother (1972)
6. The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975)
7. Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Journalism (1981)
8. Conclusion

Modern Critical Views: Gabriel García Márquez
(Modern Critical Views)

Edited by Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House Publishers, 1989, ISBN 1-55546-297-9; Hardcover $37.95. [

A compilation of essays with an introduction by Harold Bloom, this book gathers together eighteen essays and articles that have appeared over the years throughout various magazines, journals, and books. The range of essays is nicely varied across the whole spectrum of literary criticism; you have among these pieces a few loving tributes, some well-written research papers, and of course a few works of jargon-infested bombast undoubtedly born from the Darwinistic womb of "publish or perish." Some of the essays exhibit a sense of humor or genuine style, but many of them tend to be a bit dry, and a few tend to the smug and snobby side of literary criticism.

The Table of Contents:

Editor's Note
Introduction (by Harold Bloom)

  • García Márquez: From Aracataca to Macondo
    (by Mario Vargas Llosa)
  • José Arcadio Buendia's Scientific Paradigms: Man in Search of Himself
    (by Floyd Merrel)
  • The Faulkner Relation
    (by William Plummer)
  • The Myth of Apocalypse and Human Temporality in García Márquez's Cien años de soledad and El otoño del patriarca
    (by Lois Parkinson Zamora)
  • The Development of Faulkner's Influence in the Work of García Márquez
    (by Harley D. Oberhelman)
  • The Logic of Wings: García Márquez, Todorov, and the Endless Resources of Fantasy
    (by John Gerlach)
  • Beware of Gift-Bearing Tales: Reading García Márquez According to Mauss
    (by Eduardo Gonzáles)
  • Cien años de soledad: The Novel as Myth and Archive
    (by Roberto Gonzáles Echevarría)
  • Liberals, Conservatives, and Bananas: Colombian Politics in the Fictions of Gabriel García Márquez
    (by Regina Janes)
  • The Autumn of the Patriarch
    (by Raymond Williams)
  • The Logic of Wings: Gabriel García Márquez and Afro-American Literature
    (by Vera M. Kutzinski)
  • The First Voyage around the World: From Pigafetta to García Márquez
    (by Humberto E. Robles)
  • The Autumn of the Signifier: The Deconstructionist Moment of García Márquez
    (by Patricia Tobin)
  • From Mystery to Parody: (Re)Readings of García Márquez's Crónica de una muerte anunciada
    (by Isabel Alvarez-Borland)
  • From Realism to Magic Realism: The Meticulous Modernist Fictions of García Márquez
    (by Morton P. Levitt)
  • Prisms of Consciousness: The "New Worlds" of Columbus and García Márquez
    (by Michael Palencia-Roth)
  • Writing and Ritual in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
    (by Carlos J. Alonso)
  • Translation and the Novel: One Hundred Years of Solitude
    (by Anibal Gonzáles)


García Márquez: The Man and his Work

By Gene H. Bell-Villada.
University of North Carolina Press, 1990, ISBN 0-807-84264-8; Paperback $17.95. [

This book, authored by Dr. Bell-Villada, Professor of Romance Languages at Williams College, is a very readable and clear overview of García Márquez and his work. The book description is as follows:

In this beautifully written examination of García Márquez and his work, Gene Bell-Villada traces the major forces that jave shaped the Colombian novelist and describes his life, his personality, and his political opinions. He considers García Márquez's place in world literature and analyzes his short fiction and all his novels from the great and complex One Hundred Years of Solitude -- a cultural phenomenon the likes of which we have seldome seen -- through Love in the Time of Cholera. He shows why García Márquez has achieved a confluence of high art and popular success that is virtually unique in the twentieth century.
Bell-Villada examines the narrative works of García Márquez for their historical and human content, for their literary technique and structure, and for their expert use of fantasy, ribaldry, humor, and satire.

For those wishing a specific overview, here is the table of contents:

1.The Novel
2.The Country
3.The Writer's Life
4.The Man and His Politics
5.The Readings

6.The History of Macondo
7.The Master of Short Forms
8.Juvenilia and Apprenticeship (A Brief Interlude)
9.The Anatomy of Tyranny
10.The Novelist of Love
11.The Legacy

On a Libyrinth-related note, Dr. Bell-Villada is also the author of Borges and his Fiction: A Guide to his Mind and Art.

Gabriel García Márquez: Solitude & Solidarity

By Michael Bell.
Palgrave Macmillan, 1993, ISBN 0312099886; Hardcover $45.00. [

Reviews or comments are welcome. Here is the (edited) review from's Web page:

García Márquez enjoys world-wide popularity and it is not surprising that much has been written about him. But a further reason for the enormous critical literature is that, despite his apparent transparency as a consciously popular writer, his fiction is peculiarly elusive of interpretation. Much good criticism of García Márquez came in the wake of One Hundred Years of Solitude and the perception of his fiction has been dominated by that novel. It seemed the implicit goal to which the earlier fiction had been striving. In The General in his Labyrinth it emerges that the Bolivar figure is a reworking of earlier solitaries from throughout García Márquez fiction and the fading of myth into history has its full pregnancy in the light of this double reference. By concentrating on the later novels, including The General in his Labyrinth, this study brings out the internal dialogue between the novels so that One Hundred Years of Solitude stands out, like Don Quixote in Cervantes' oeuvre, as atypical yet more deeply representative. Behind the popular impact of its "magical realism" lies García Márquez' abiding meditation on the nature of fictional and historical truth.

Hispanics of Achievement: Gabriel García Márquez

By Sean Dolan.
Chelsea House Publishers, 1994, ISBN 1-7910-1243-3; Hardcover $22.95. [

A simple work of a hundred or so pages, this book is part of the condescendingly titled "Hispanics of Achievement" series and is designed for middle to high school students. It serves its purpose well as an introduction to Gabriel García Márquez, covering his life and career up until the publishing of The General in his Labyrinth, and contains some interesting photographs and quotations. The writer's family, influences, and personal politics are discussed, and Dolan fills in the necessary background information on Latin American politics when needed. (Although on an amusing note, since it's designed for the shelves of an American public school library, its discussions on Gabo's political leanings and friendship with Fidel Castro have a vaguely apologetic tone which can be quite amusing!) The style is simple and breezy, and though it was designed for students I found it quite an enjoyable read, although in need of an update.

García Márquez for Beginners

By Mariana Solanet, illustrated by Hector Luis Bergandi.

Writers & Readers, 1999, ISBN 0863162894; Paperback $11.95. [Browse/Purchase]

A cartoon-illustrated book about García Márquez and his major works. I would welcome any additional reviews or comments!

Literary Masters: Gabriel García Márquez
(Literary Masters Series, vol. 5)

By Joan Mellen

Gale Group, 2000, ISBN 0787639702; Paperback $72.75. [Browse/Purchase]

Commentary by Crawford Kilian, teacher of writing at Capilano College:
As a novelist and teacher of fiction writing, I have long marveled at how García Márquez can break the rules that most of us flout at our peril. "Show, don't tell!" I warn my students – that is, dramatize your characters' traits and motives, instead of simply telling us about them. Yet the fiction of García Márquez gives us page after page of exposition, and enthralls us. Perhaps the origin of this ability may be found in his grandmother, who told the young Gabriel strange and wonderful stories in Aracataca, all delivered with a deadpan acceptance of their most fantastic elements. Like Conrad's Marlowe describing the journey to the heart of darkness, García Márquez's narrators are both inside and outside their stories. They adopt the omniscient authority of those who told us tales when we were children, and we accept what they tell us.
From this childhood of storytelling in Aracataca, Gabriel García Márquez would go on to win the Nobel Prize in literature, establishing himself as one of the twentieth century's most unique voices and gaining almost universal recognition and admiration. It is the task of Gale's Literary Masters: Gabriel García Márquez to provide the reader with a clear and detailed context for García Márquez and his work, from the influence of his grandmother to the impact of his own writing on world literature. To the interested reader, Literary Masters offers an excellent pathway between the sparse, biographical summaries found on dust-jackets and the growing volumes of academic criticism that some might find daunting.
Self-described as a "study guide," Literary Masters is much more than a simple Coles Notes – it's more like the print version of a really good Web site, gathering together a wealth of different material into one compact resource. The book opens with a chronology of the author's life, from his birth in 1928 to his treatment in 1999 for lymphatic cancer. It provides a startling reminder that he began his writing career in 1947, over 55 years ago, and that he began writing One Hundred Years of Solitude in January 1965. Not many other novels from the mid-60s are still read, and fewer still seem as contemporary. Yet García Márquez was very much a man of his time, deeply engaged with the politics of the 1940s and 1950s. As the book goes on to flesh out the chronology with biographical details, we see (often through the author's eyes) how the experiences of his youth emerged in his fiction and nonfiction – and in his politics. More than just engaging politics through his writing, García Márquez frequently took a more personal role, often cultivating friendships with leading political figures. His friendships with the revolutionary priest Camilo Torres (who died after taking up arms against the Colombian government) and with Fidel Castro may seem unsavory to some, but they certainly reflect a consistent position. However radical he may be, García Márquez is never doctrinaire, and some of his sharpest criticism is reserved for Colombia itself. The twin curses of Colombia, as García Márquez states, are "solitude and nostalgia" – a futile yearning for a dead past, and a selfish narcissism that puts itself over caring for others and taking a part in society.
Documenting this assertion is a long and informative chapter on the history of Colombia, which has indeed been plagued by social failure right from the start – especially among the ruling elite, whose quarrels dragged the whole country into one civil war after another. It quickly becomes clear, even to the non-historian, that García Márquez has not exaggerated the murderous folly that all too often blights the lives of his characters. His ability to be true to that troubled history, while also finding in it so much humor and happiness, is further testimony to his genius as a writer.
The volume then turns to a discussion of the books and screenplays García Márquez has written. A kind of annotated bibliography, while one might occasionally wish for more annotation, most of these works have already received attention in the earlier biographical chapters. Of particular interest is the material detailing his films. Since this is an aspect of García Márquez's writing that few North American readers are familiar with, it comes as a welcome surprise, and serves as an invitation for further exploration.
The last pages of the book reveal some of its real treasues. For example, we get both García Márquez's Nobel Prize speech and a long, thoughtful interview from the New York Times that appeared in 1988, on the eve of the publication of Love in the Time of Cholera. Having been prepared through a useful biographical and historical context for his work, we also enjoy a critical context through a chapter comparing him with other Latin American authors. This chapter consists chiefly of a long and brilliant essay by the Mexican author Carlos Fuentes, adapted from a lecture given in Britain in 1987.
At the very end of the book, Literary Masters turns into a genuine "study guide," complete with suggested essay questions and a glossary of literary terms. This is a somewhat anti-climactic conclusion to a masterful survey of an author who doesn't lend himself to pedantic dissection. Some readers may find this section convenient; most can safely ignore it.
Literary Masters may be hard to find outside academic libraries. It's available from and other online booksellers, but the price puts it beyond the reach of most readers. Still, for the serious reader of Gabriel García Márquez, it may be an investment worth making. And it will send such readers back to the master's work, to read it with a still greater appreciation.
The table of contents:

A Note to the Reader
Chronology of Events in Gabriel García Márquez 's Life
About Gabriel García Márquez
Personal Data
His Childhood and Biographical Glimpses
Awards and Recognition
García Márquez at Work
Getting Established
Subject to Revision
Critical Reception
García Márquez's Era
García Márquez's Country
García Márquez's Era and Time in History
Lifestyle and Culture
García Márquez's Works
Scripts and Screenplays
Critical Summary
Art Imitating Life
The Works' Place In History
Public Response
García Márquez on García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez's Nobel Prize Lecture
Interview with García Márquez
García Márquez as Studied
Other Authors Frequently Studied with
García Márquez
García Márquez and the Invention of America
Resources for García Márquez Study
Study Questions
Glossary of Terms
Master Index

García Márquez: A Critical Companion

By Ruben Pelayo.

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 0313312605; Hardcover $39.95. [Browse/Purchase]

A critical overview of Gabo and his most popular works, the table of contents is as follows. I would welcome any additional reviews or comments!

Table of Contents
Series Foreword by Kathleen Gregory Klein
The Life of Gabriel García Márquez
Literary Contexts
Leaf Storm (1955)
No One Writes to the Colonel (1961)
The Short Stories
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981)
Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

Out of Print

Gabriel García Márquez

By G. R. McMurray.
Ungar, New York: 1977, ISBN 0804426201. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez: Writer of Colombia

By Stephen Minta.
Jonathan Cape, London: 1978, ISBN 0064357554. [
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Michael Wood (Landmarks of World Literature: One Hundred Years of Solitude) says this book is: "particularly good on the later work."

Gabriel García Márquez: Revolutions in Wonderland

By Regina Janes.
University of Missouri Press, 1981, ISBN 082620337X. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Evolution of Myth in García Márquez from La Hojarasca to Cien Anos De Soledad

By Robert L. Sims.
Ediciones Universal, 1982, ISBN 0897292952; Paperback $19.95. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez

By Peter G. Earle
Taurus Ediciones, S.A., 1982, ISBN 8430621296. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Special Issue Gabriel García Márquez
(Latin American Literary Review, Vol. 8, No. 25, January-June, 1985)

By Yvette E. Miller.
Latin American Literary Review Press, 1985, ISBN 0317265202. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Critical Perspectives on Gabriel García Márquez

Edited by Bradley A. Shaw & Nora Vera-Godwin.
University of Colorado Press, 1986, ISBN 0892950315. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez: Life, Work, and Criticism

By G. R. McMurray.
York Press, 1987, ISBN 0919966586; Paperback $9.95. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez: New Readings

Edited by Bernard McGuirk & Richard Cardwell
Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0521328365. [
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Wood says of this book: "some challenging essays and an excellent bibliography."

Critical Essays on Gabriel García Márquez
(Critical Essays on World Literature)

By George R. McMurray
G K Hall, 1987, ISBN 0816188343. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez and the Invention of America

By Carlos Fuentes.
Liverpool University Press, 1987, ISBN 0853231966.[
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez and Latin America

By Alok Bhalla.
Stosius Inc/Advent Books Division, 1987. ISBN 0938719084. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez and the Powers of Fiction
(Texas Pan American Series)

Edited by Julio Ortega.
University of Texas Press, 1988, ISBN 0521328365. [
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Reviews or comments are welcome.

Defamiliarization in the Work of Gabriel García Márquez from 1947-1967
(Studies in Hispanic Literature, Vol 1)

By K. E. A. Mose.
Edwin Mellen Press, 1989, ISBN 0889463875; Hardcover $99.95. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Gabriel García Márquez: A Study of the Short Fiction (Twayne's Studies in Short Fiction Series, No 24)

By Harley D. Oberhelman.
Twayne Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0805783334. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

Intertextuality in García Márquez

By Arnold M. Penuel.
Spanish Literature Publications, 1994, ISBN 0938972200; Hardcover $24.00. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

García Márquez (Modern Literatures in Perspective)

Edited by Robin W. Fiddian.
Pearson UK, 1995, ISBN 058221405X; Hardcover $56.95. [
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Comments or reviews are welcome.

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--Allen B. Ruch
12 May 2003