Gabo's Bookshelf: 'Leaf Storm and Other Stories'
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Leaf Storm and Other Stories (1955)
By Gabriel García Márquez

Leaf Storm marks the first appearance of Macondo, García Márquez's famous mythical village. (Macondo means "banana" in Bantu, and it was the name of a banana plantation near his hometown of Aracataca, Colombia.) However, the Macondo of Leaf Storm is a very different Macondo than that of One Hundred Years of Solitude. This Macondo is a devastated place, lonely and broken down, existing in the poverty and solitude left when the banana company pulled up and went away. Drenched by rain, the town emits a palpable odor of decay. The people are closed and bitter, quick to judge and harsh in their sentences. Living among them is the Colonel, a honorable man who takes it on himself to fulfill a promise he made years ago: to bury the Doctor, a salacious and parsimonious foreigner who had the distinction of being the most hated man in Macondo. The story revolves around the relationship between the Doctor and the Colonel's family, and the difficult task of burying the man the rest of the town would rather see rot, forgotten and unattended.

Leaf Storm is a work which clearly shows both the writer's past influences and present state of mind, but also points towards his future development. Faulkner-like, the narrative is told from three different points of view that shift throughout the story: the Colonel, his embittered daughter, and her innocent young son. Each of them sees the same events, but each interpret them differently; and by this technique, we see many sides of Macondo as well.

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