Critical Context

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Leaf Storm was García Márquez’s first novel, following the publication of various short stories. Its themes and characters mark the beginning of the saga of Macondo, a town created in its author’s imagination much as William Faulkner created the locales of his novels. Indeed, Faulkner has been recognized by García Márquez as one of his most important literary influences.

This novel is considered by critics of Latin American fiction to be a prefiguration of its author’s great work, Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970). Along with other shorter tales and novels, Leaf Storm introduces characters and situations that will return, in much expanded form, in One Hundred Years of Solitude. The story of the doctor’s arrival and suicide, for example, is explained in the longer novel. Macondo, at the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude, disappears as retribution for its tremendous growth and decadence, providing a final end to the allegory.

In 1982, Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, following other Latin American writers such as Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. He is recognized as one of the leading modern novelist/story writers, and he is an active commentator of contemporary Latin American culture, especially in its relationship to society, a theme so well begun in Leaf Storm and carried out in his later works.

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