Innocent Erendira and Other Stories

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Overview

This collection of fiction, representing some of García Márquez's earlier work, includes eleven short stories and a novella, Innocent Eréndira, in which a young girl who dreams of freedom cannot escape the reach of her vicious and avaricious grandmother.

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Overview

This collection of fiction, representing some of García Márquez's earlier work, includes eleven short stories and a novella, Innocent Eréndira, in which a young girl who dreams of freedom cannot escape the reach of her vicious and avaricious grandmother.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

John Leonard
It is the genius of the mature Garcia Marquez that fatalism and possibility somehow coexist, the dreams redeem, that there is laughter even in death. Not being a genius, I don't know how he does it, but I am grateful. -- The New York Times
Martin Kaplan
Garcia Marquez's fictional universe has the same staggerizingly gratifying density and texture of Proust, Faubourg, St. Germain and Joyce...Since the death of Neruda he is arguably the best of the Latin Americans. -- The New Republic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060751586
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Series: Perennial Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 350,164
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927. His many books include The Autumn of the Patriarch; No One Writes to the Colonel; Love in the Time of Cholera; a memoir, Living to Tell the Tale; and, most recently, a novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores. Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Biography

Gabriel García Márquez is the product of his family and his nation. Born in the small coastal town of Aracataca in northern Colombia, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. As a child, he was mesmerized by stories spun by his grandmother and her sisters -- a rich gumbo of superstitions, folk tales, and ghost stories that fired his youthful imagination. And from his grandfather, a colonel in Colombia's devastating Civil War, he learned about his country's political struggles. This potent mix of Liberal politics, family lore, and regional mythology formed the framework for his magical realist novels.

When his grandfather died, García Márquez was sent to Sucre to live (for the first time) with his parents. He attended university in Bogotá, where he studied law in accordance with his parents' wishes. It was here that he first read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and discovered a literature he understood intuitively -- one with nontraditional plots and structures, just like the stories he had known all his life. His studies were interrupted when the university was closed, and he moved back north, intending to pursue both writing and law; but before long, he quit school to pursue a career in journalism.

In 1954 his newspaper sent García Márquez on assignment to Italy, marking the start of a lifelong self-imposed exile from the horrors of Colombian politics that took him to Barcelona, Paris, New York, and Mexico. Influenced by American novelist William Faulkner, creator of the fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County, and by the powerful intergenerational tragedies of the Greek dramatist Sophocles, García Márquez began writing fiction, honing a signature blend of fantasy and reality that culminated in the 1967 masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. This sweeping epic became an instant classic and set the stage for more bestselling novels, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Love and Other Demons, and Memories of My Melancholy Whores. In addition, he has completed the first volume of a shelf-bending memoir, and his journalism and nonfiction essays have been collected into several anthologies.

In 1982, García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his acceptance speech, he called for a "sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth." Few writers have pursued that utopia with more passion and vigor than this towering 20th-century novelist.

Good To Know

Gabriel José García Márquez' affectionate nickname is Gabo.

García Márquez' first two novellas were completed long before their actual release dates, but might not have been published if it weren't for his friends, who found the manuscripts in a desk drawer and a suitcase, and sent them in for publication.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Gabriel José García Márquez
    2. Hometown:
      Mexico City, Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 6, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aracataca, Colombia
    1. Education:
      Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1947-48, and Universidad de Cartagena, 1948-49

Read an Excerpt

Innocent Erendira

And Other Stories
By Garcia Marquez, Gabriel

Perennial

ISBN: 0060751584

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmotber

Eréndira was bathing her grandmother when the wind of her misfortune began to blow. The enormous mansion of moonlike concrete lost in the solitude of the desert trembled down to its foundations with the first attack. But Eréndira and her grandmother were used to the risks of the wild nature there, and in the bathroom decorated with a series of peacocks and childish mosaics of Roman baths they scarcely paid any attention to the caliber of the wind.

The grandmother, naked and huge in the marble tub, looked like a handsome white whale. The granddaughter had just turned fourteen and was languid, soft-boned, and too meek for her age. With a parsimony that had something like sacred rigor about it, she was bathing her grandmother with water in which purifying herbs and aromatic leaveshad been boiled, the latter clinging to the succulent back, the flowing metal-colored hair, and the powerful shoulders which were so mercilessly tattooed as to put sailors to shame.

"Last night I dreamt I was expecting a letter," the grandmother said.

Eréndira, who never spoke except when it was unavoidable, asked:

"What day was it in the dream?"

"Thursday."

"Then it was a letter with bad news," Eréndira said, "but it will never arrive."

When she had finished bathingher grandmother, she took her to her bedroom. The grandmother was so fat that she could only walk by leaning on her granddaughter's shoulder or on a staff that looked like a bishop's crosier, but even during her most difficult efforts the power of an antiquated grandeur was evident. In the bedroom, which had been furnished with an excessive and somewhat demented taste, like the whole house, Eréndira needed two more hours to get her grandmother ready. She untangled her hair strand by strand, perfumed and combed it, put an equatorially flowered dress on her, put talcum powder on her face, bright red lipstick on her mouth, rouge on her checks, musk on her eyelids, and mother-of-pearl polish on her nails, and when she had her decked out like a larger than life-size doll, she led her to an artificial garden with suffocating flowers that were like the ones on the dress, seated her in a large chair that had the foundation and the pedigree of a throne, and left her listening to elusive records on a phonograph that had a speaker like a megaphone.

While the grandmother floated through the swamps of the past, Eréndira busied herself sweeping the house, which was dark and motley, with bizarre furniture and statues of invented Caesars, chandeliers of teardrops and alabaster angels, a gilded piano, and numerous clocks of unthinkable. sizes and shapes. There was a cistern in the courtyard for the storage of water carried over many years from distant springs on the backs of Indians, and hitched to a ring on the cistern wall was a broken-down ostrich, the only feathered creature who could survive the torment of that accursed climate. The house was far away from everything, in the heart of the desert, next to a settlement with miserable and burning streets where the goats committed suicide from desolation when the wind of misfortune blew.

That incomprehensible refuge had been built by the grandmother's husband, a legendary smuggler whose name was Amadís, by whom she had a son whose name was also Amadís and who was Eréndira's father. No one knew either the origins or the motivations of that family. The best known version in the language of the Indians was that Amadís the father had rescued his beautiful wife from a house of prostitution in the Antilles, where he had killed a man in a knife fight, and that he had transplanted her forever in the impunity of the desert. When the Amadíses died, one of melancholy fevers and the other riddled with bullets in a fight over a woman, the grandmother buried their bodies in the courtyard, sent away the fourteen barefoot servant girls, and continued ruminating on her dreams of grandeur in the shadows of the furtive house, thanks to the sacrifices of the bastard granddaughter whom she had reared since birth.

Eréndira needed six hours just to set and wind the clocks.

The day when her misfortune began she didn't have to do that because the clocks had enough winding left to last until the next morning, but on the other hand, she had to bathe and overdress her grandmother, scrub the floors, cook lunch, and polish the crystalware. Around eleven o'clock, when she was changing the water in the ostrich's bowl and watering the desert weeds around the twin graves of the Amadíses, she had to fight off the anger of the wind, which had become unbearable, but she didn't have the slightest feeling that it was the wind of her misfortune. At twelve o'clock she was wiping the last champagne glasses when she caught the smell of broth and had to perform the miracle of running to the kitchen without leaving a disaster of Venetian glass in her wake.

She just managed to take the pot off the stove as it was beginning to boil over. Then she put on a stew she had already prepared and took advantage of a chance to sit down and rest on a stool in the kitchen. She closed her eyes, opened them again with an unfatigued expression, and began pouring the soup into the tureen. She was working as she slept.

The grandmother had sat down alone at the head of a banquet table with silver candlesticks set for twelve people. She shook her little bell and Eréndira arrived almost immediately with the steaming tureen. Continues...


Excerpted from Innocent Erendira by Garcia Marquez, Gabriel Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

The incredible and sad tale of innocent Erendira and her heartless grandmother 1
The sea of lost time 60
Death constant beyond love 83
The third resignation 94
The other side of death 106
Eva is inside her cat 117
Dialogue with the mirror 131
Bitterness for three sleepwalkers 140
Eyes of a blue dog 146
The woman who came at six o'clock 155
Someone has been disarranging these roses 171
The night of the curlews 177
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First Chapter

Innocent Erendira
and Other Stories

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmotber

Eréndira was bathing her grandmother when the wind of her misfortune began to blow. The enormous mansion of moonlike concrete lost in the solitude of the desert trembled down to its foundations with the first attack. But Eréndira and her grandmother were used to the risks of the wild nature there, and in the bathroom decorated with a series of peacocks and childish mosaics of Roman baths they scarcely paid any attention to the caliber of the wind.

The grandmother, naked and huge in the marble tub, looked like a handsome white whale. The granddaughter had just turned fourteen and was languid, soft-boned, and too meek for her age. With a parsimony that had something like sacred rigor about it, she was bathing her grandmother with water in which purifying herbs and aromatic leaveshad been boiled, the latter clinging to the succulent back, the flowing metal-colored hair, and the powerful shoulders which were so mercilessly tattooed as to put sailors to shame.

"Last night I dreamt I was expecting a letter," the grandmother said.

Eréndira, who never spoke except when it was unavoidable, asked:

"What day was it in the dream?"

"Thursday."

"Then it was a letter with bad news," Eréndira said, "but it will never arrive."

When she had finished bathing her grandmother, she took her to her bedroom. The grandmother was so fat that she could only walk by leaning on her granddaughter's shoulder or on a staff that looked like a bishop's crosier, but even during her most difficult efforts the power of an antiquated grandeur was evident. In the bedroom, which had been furnished with an excessive and somewhat demented taste, like the whole house, Eréndira needed two more hours to get her grandmother ready. She untangled her hair strand by strand, perfumed and combed it, put an equatorially flowered dress on her, put talcum powder on her face, bright red lipstick on her mouth, rouge on her checks, musk on her eyelids, and mother-of-pearl polish on her nails, and when she had her decked out like a larger than life-size doll, she led her to an artificial garden with suffocating flowers that were like the ones on the dress, seated her in a large chair that had the foundation and the pedigree of a throne, and left her listening to elusive records on a phonograph that had a speaker like a megaphone.

While the grandmother floated through the swamps of the past, Eréndira busied herself sweeping the house, which was dark and motley, with bizarre furniture and statues of invented Caesars, chandeliers of teardrops and alabaster angels, a gilded piano, and numerous clocks of unthinkable. sizes and shapes. There was a cistern in the courtyard for the storage of water carried over many years from distant springs on the backs of Indians, and hitched to a ring on the cistern wall was a broken-down ostrich, the only feathered creature who could survive the torment of that accursed climate. The house was far away from everything, in the heart of the desert, next to a settlement with miserable and burning streets where the goats committed suicide from desolation when the wind of misfortune blew.

That incomprehensible refuge had been built by the grandmother's husband, a legendary smuggler whose name was Amadís, by whom she had a son whose name was also Amadís and who was Eréndira's father. No one knew either the origins or the motivations of that family. The best known version in the language of the Indians was that Amadís the father had rescued his beautiful wife from a house of prostitution in the Antilles, where he had killed a man in a knife fight, and that he had transplanted her forever in the impunity of the desert. When the Amadíses died, one of melancholy fevers and the other riddled with bullets in a fight over a woman, the grandmother buried their bodies in the courtyard, sent away the fourteen barefoot servant girls, and continued ruminating on her dreams of grandeur in the shadows of the furtive house, thanks to the sacrifices of the bastard granddaughter whom she had reared since birth.

Eréndira needed six hours just to set and wind the clocks.

The day when her misfortune began she didn't have to do that because the clocks had enough winding left to last until the next morning, but on the other hand, she had to bathe and overdress her grandmother, scrub the floors, cook lunch, and polish the crystalware. Around eleven o'clock, when she was changing the water in the ostrich's bowl and watering the desert weeds around the twin graves of the Amadíses, she had to fight off the anger of the wind, which had become unbearable, but she didn't have the slightest feeling that it was the wind of her misfortune. At twelve o'clock she was wiping the last champagne glasses when she caught the smell of broth and had to perform the miracle of running to the kitchen without leaving a disaster of Venetian glass in her wake.

She just managed to take the pot off the stove as it was beginning to boil over. Then she put on a stew she had already prepared and took advantage of a chance to sit down and rest on a stool in the kitchen. She closed her eyes, opened them again with an unfatigued expression, and began pouring the soup into the tureen. She was working as she slept.

The grandmother had sat down alone at the head of a banquet table with silver candlesticks set for twelve people. She shook her little bell and Eréndira arrived almost immediately with the steaming tureen.

Innocent Erendira
and Other Stories
. Copyright © by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2011

    Stories

    In Innocent Erendira and Other Stories by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, the author share short vignettes of adventures.
    Márquez short stories delve into beauty, life, death and the wonders around us. A departure from is longer works, this book is a joy to discover the wit and imagination of one of the most prolific writers of our time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2004

    HE is a genius

    It is an honor to have been born in the same country as this Nobel Price did. He is amazing, a genius and he captivates you with his magical realism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2000

    The best magic realism short stories

    This book is one of some Marquez's collected short stories, including the novvela 'The incredible and sad tale of Innocent Erendira and her heartless grandmorher', which brought us to the labyrinthed story. This was Marquez's style that called 'magic realism', where the daily fact mixed with the unreal life, like ghost and everything invisibled. The stronger magic realism stories appear in 'the third resignations' and 'eyes of the blue dog'. I thing, whoever like literary, must be read this book!

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