Love in the Time of Cholera (El amor en los tiempos del colera in the original Spanish), published in 1985, was the first novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to be published since he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. As abundant publicity surrounding the book's appearance in December 1985 revealed, the author was already working on a sequel to his novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold when the Nobel committee's decision was announced. With the award there came numerous public commitments obliging Garcia Marquez to interrupt the progress of his project until January 1984, when he resumed work on the existing material. Love in the Time of Cholera was eventually completed in August 1985 and published three months ahead of schedule.
Initial critical response took the form of summary notices and reviews, the most enthusiastic of which asserted that Love in the Time of Cholera was one of the great living classics of the Spanish language. It has been called a masterpiece of sensuous prose, because of its ability to summon up the textures, sensual pleasures, tastes, and smells associated with living in a particular place at a particular time. Because of this, it has been compared to other contemporary texts such as Toni Morrison's vibrant account of Harlem life Jazz. Overblown yet controlled, Garcia Marquez's story of life, love, and lust in a convention-bound provincial city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia displays great imaginative and narrative freedom. In addition, it has an almost novella-like discipline in its structuring of recurrent ideas.