Leaf Storm and Other Stories

Overview

Contains Leaf Storm, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, Blacaman the Good, Vendor of Miracles, The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship, Monologue of Isabel Watching It Rain in Macondo, Nabo

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Overview

Contains Leaf Storm, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, Blacaman the Good, Vendor of Miracles, The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship, Monologue of Isabel Watching It Rain in Macondo, Nabo

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Editorial Reviews

Paul Theroux
Religion is often seen as barren and stultifying, of stubborn and contstricting preoccupations, but there are minds which find relief in it and then soar to tremendous heights of imagination. Gabriel Garcia Marquez may not be pious in the traditional sense; however, there is in these stories, between 1957 and 1958 -- before his amazing novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude -- a pervase tone of imaginative religiosity, and mystical lyricism in even the simplest exchanges...To call these allegories would be to suggest that they are symbolic somehow and perhaps plainly stated. They are not; the texture is that of a prose poem, and the intention, a restatement of religious beliefs. But the feeling one comes away with is one of enhancement, which is a sense of having endured terror and magic. -- The Chicago Tribune
Peter S. Prescott
For Garcia Marquez the world contains mysteries that we can easily live with, but also miracles that we cannot understand...Leaf Storm, then, brings together both Garcia Marquez's early and late styles. The former deserves our respect, the latter requires our celebration. -- Newsweek
Alfred Kazin
Garcia Marquez has extraordinary strength and firmness of imagination and writes with the calmness of a man who knows exactly what wonders he can perform. Strange things happen in the land of Marquez. As with Emerson, Poe, Hawthorne, every sentence breaks the silence of a vast emptiness, the famous new world of solitude that is the unconscious despair of his characters but the sign of Marquez's genius. -- The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060751555
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Series: Perennial Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 376,712
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1927 in the town of Aracataca, Columbia.Latin America's preeminent man of letters, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. García Márquez began his writing career as a journalist and is the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels The Autumn of the Patriarch and Love in the Time of Cholera, and the autobiography Living to Tell the Tale. There has been resounding acclaim for his life's work since he passed away in April 2014.

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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

Table of Contents

Leaf storm 1
The handsomest drowned man in the world 98
A very old man with enormous wings 105
Blacaman the good, vendor of miracles 113
The last voyage of the ghost ship 123
Monologue of Isabel watching it rain in Macondo 129
Nabo 137
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First Chapter

Leaf Storm
and Other Stories
Chapter One


I've seen a corpse for the first time. It's Wednesday but I feel as if it was Sunday because I didn't go to school and they dressed me up in a green corduroy suit that's tight in some places. Holding Mama's hand, following my grandfather, who feels his way along with a cane with every step he takes so he won't bump into things (be doesn't see well in the dark and he limps), I went past the mirror in the living room and saw myself full length, dressed in green and with this white starched collar that pinches me on one side of the neck. I saw myself in the round mottled looking glass and I thought: That's me, as if today was Sunday.

We've come to the house where the dead man is.

The beat won't let you breathe in the closed room. You can hear the sun buzzing in the streets, but that's all. The air is stagnant, like concrete; you get the feeling that it could get all twisted like a sheet of steel. In the room where they've laid out the corpse there's a smell of trunks, but I can't see any anywhere. There's a hammock in the corner hanging by one end from a ring. There's a smell of trash. And I think that the things around us, broken down and almost falling apart, have the look of things that ought to smell like trash even though they smell like something else.

I always thought that dead people should have hats on. Now I can see that they shouldn't. I can see that they have a head like wax and a handkerchief tied around their jawbone. I can see that they have their mouth open a little and that behind the purple lips you can see the stained and irregular teeth. I can see that they keep their tongue bitten over to one side, thick and sticky, a little darker than the color of their face, which is like the color of fingers clutching a stick. I can see that they have their eyes open much wider than a man's, anxious and wild, and that their skin seems to be made of tight damp earth. I thought that a dead man would look like somebody quiet and asleep and now I can see that it's just the opposite. I can see that he looks like someone awake and in a rage after a fight.

Mama is dressed tip as if it was Sunday too. She put on the old straw hat that comes down over her ears and a black dress closed at the neck and with sleeves that come down to her wrists. Since today is Wednesday she looks to me like someone far away, a stranger, and I get the feeling that she wants to tell me something when my grandfather gets up to receive the men who've brought the coffin. Mama is sitting beside me with her back to the closed door. She's breathing heavily and she keeps pushing back the strands of hair that fall out from under the hat that she put on in a hurry. My grandfather has told the men to put the coffin down next to the bed. Only then did I realize that the dead man could really fit into it. When the men brought in the box I had the impression that it was too small for a body that took up the whole length of the bed.

I don't know why they brought me along. I've never been in this house before and I even thought that nobody lived here. It's a big house, on the corner, and I don't think the door has ever been opened. I always thought that nobody lived in the house. Only now, after my mother told me, "You won't be going to school this afternoon," and I didn't feel glad because she said it with a serious and reserved voice, and I saw her come back with my corduroy suit and she put it on me without saying a word and we went to the door to join my grandfather, and we walked past the three houses that separated this one from ours, only now do I realize that someone lived on the corner. Someone who died and who must be the man my mother was talking about when she said: "You have to behave yourself at the doctor's funeral."

When we went in I didn't see the dead man. I saw my grandfather at the door talking to the men, and then I saw him telling us to go on in. I thought then that there was somebody in the room; but when I went in I felt it was dark and empty. The heat beat on my face from the very first minute and I got that trash smell that was solid and permanent at first and now, like the beat, comes in slow-spaced waves and disappears. Mama led me through the dark room by the hand and seated me next to her in a comer. Only after a moment could I begin to make things out. I saw my grandfather trying to open a window that seemed stuck to its frame, glued to the wood around it, and I saw him hitting his cane against the latches, his coat covered with the dust that came off with every blow. I turned my bead to where my grandfather was moving as he said he couldn't open the window and only then did I see there was someone on the bed. There was a dark man stretched out, motionless. Then I spun my head to my mother's side where she sat serious and without moving, looking off somewhere else in the room.

Leaf Storm
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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