Fashion Reader: One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Fashion Reader is a series where I explore the books that have influenced, inspired and intrigued me. I share stories about writers who have provided that creative spark, those who have shaped my beliefs and those who have simply been a pleasure to read. With some, the link to fashion will be obvious, with others, the relevance to women in fashion might be more subtle. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading…

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of several generations of the Buendía family and Macondo, the village they found on a riverbank somewhere in South America.

The novel acts as a sort of metaphoric interpretation of Colombian history and society, that is at once both wildly absurd and vividly real.

The way Marques manages to combine storytelling with the magical, the real, the political, the history of South America, and the natural world, is really inspiring.

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The Buendía family suffers through affairs, famines, hurricanes and assassinations, in ways that often reflect real aspects of South American history. The family seem tied to an inescapable future, as history repeats itself in an inevitable cycle.

There is a daughter who eats dirt, a father who is tied to a chestnut tree, and a son born with a pig’s tail.

The dense, imaginative world of Marques is just captivating, particularly the way he interweaves reality and fiction.

One person’s horror or dream can be another’s reality. His novel tries to reflect realities observed by people of all different kinds of backgrounds, which is reflective of the complexity of Latin American society.

With civil wars, dictators, colonialism, and native identity, the Latin American society is anything but homogenous. The novel really opens up the idea of what is ‘real life’, by trying to show how it is experienced by very different people; it challenges our perception of what reality truly means.

I find the imaginative world of Garcia Marquez very creatively stimulating and I have since pursued other Latin American writers using a similar form of magical realism like Isabel Allende, who I am also a huge fan of. Reading their work is like a portal to another world.

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