(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

Leaf Storm is narrated through three alternating interior monologues: those of the colonel, his daughter Isabel, and her son. Through this structure, García Márquez chronicles the founding of the imaginary coastal town of Macondo in the late nineteenth century, its prosperity during the 1910’s, and its decadence after 1918. This is the story of the arrival and exit of the “leaf storm,” the hordes of outsiders and foreigners who descended on the Colombian coast as the region grew rich on the banana industry during a short period of wealth that ended as quickly as it had begun.

As the novel begins, the doctor has hanged himself and the colonel prepares to oversee the burial of the body. It is learned that ten years earlier, the rest of the townspeople had sworn to oppose this burial, and that the colonel is honoring a personal pledge he had made earlier to the dead man to defy the will of the others. The reason for the town’s hostility is only made clear later, as each of the three narrations goes back in time and tells the story of the doctor’s twenty-five-year stay in Macondo. At the novel’s close, the family prepares to form a funeral cortege with the coffin: What the reaction of their neighbors will be is left unknown.

The three ongoing monologues do not proceed in a linear manner. Many incidents mentioned by one character are taken up later by another, and thus the reader is engaged in a constant process of...

(The entire section is 431 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

Bloom, Harold, ed. Márquez. New York: Chelsea House, 1989. A collection of eighteen essays by various authors on different aspects of Márquez’s works. Covers the whole range of literary criticism and offers in-depth analysis of several of Márquez’s novels.

Dolan, Sean. Hispanics of Achievement. New York: Chelsea House, 1994. A solid introduction to Márquez’s work, featuring photographs and quotations. Discusses Márquez’s family background, literary influences, and personal politics and how these shaped his writing.

McMurray, George R. “Gabriel García Márquez.” In Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé and Maria I. Abreau. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1989. Offers a comprehensive and critical discussion of Márquez’s life and works, including Leaf Storm. Provides a selected bibliography for further reading.

Márquez, Gabriel García. Interview. UNESCO Courier 49 (February, 1996): 4-7. Márquez offers his views on the teaching and protection of culture. He also discusses his daily writing discipline and how it has influenced and enhanced his work. An informative and interesting interview.

Styron, Rose. “Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, and Kenzaburo Oe: From the Rose Styron Conversations.” New Perspectives Quarterly 14 (Fall, 1997): 56-62. A revealing interview with three world renowned authors. They share their views on topics such as women and power, first and lost love, journalism as literature, spirit and faith, and multiculturalism.