By Gabriel García Márquez
These 12 extraordinary stories by South America's preeminent man of letters are set in contemporary Europe and recount the peculiar and amazing experiences that befall Latin Americans visiting or living abroad.
In these stories, the reader meets a cast of characters: An ailing Caribbean ex-President is befriended by an ambitious ambulance driver and his headstrong wife. Margarito Duarte comes to Rome from the Colombian Andes with a box the shape and size of a cello case in order to show the Pope its contents. A woman who wears a snake ring with emerald eyes and is known only as Frau Frieda to the Latin American students in Vienna makes a living by telling her dreams to wealthy families. A pretty Mexican music hall performer is returning to Barcelona when her car breaks down, and she ends up in an insane asylum. In Tuscany, a vacationing family visits a Renaissance castle now owned by a famous Venezuelan writer and meets up with a phantom. Maria dos Prazeres, once Barcelona's most sought-after lady of the night, has a dream in which death appears so she begins to plan her own funeral. A widow dressed in the habit of Saint Francis sails to Rome from Argentina to meet the Pope. A beautiful Caribbean boy is driven mad in Spain. A German governess destroys the summer for her wards—and is herself destroyed. Billy Sanchez takes his pregnant wife with a cut on her ring finger to a hospital in Paris—and never sees her again. In this breathtaking collection, Gabriel García Márquez invites us into worlds of majesty and magic, from which we emerge spellbound.