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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

While browsing the bestseller lists, I was surprised to see such names as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Leo Tolstoy pop up. Then I remembered Oprah. I have to confess, I'm please that she's been selecting literary classics for her book clubs. I don't think she could have started with them--people wouldn't have done it. But now that she has built up the trust that she has, it's a perfect move.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera has been on my list to read since last year when I saw a Spanish-language opera based on that book performed at Michigan State University. It was a beautiful opera with a magical story. As I read more about its background and talked to the director, the phrase 'magical realism' kept coming up. In some ways it struck me as a more literary and "acceptable" term than "fantasy," but really it is just a subgenre of fantasy. (Of course, I've always believed that fantasy has the ability to be as literary as any other genre even if some of it is pretty trashy and churned out with little thought to quality.)

It was certainly those magical qualities that made the opera so appealing--that and the three love stories were endearing. I'll be looking for the book and saying yet another thank you to Oprah for making books like this so accessible and popular.

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