Congratulations! If you've been reading along with Oprah, you've just finished Gabriel García Márquez's fantastical novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. Check your inbox next week for a new message from Oprah!

Throughout our journey, our literary guide Gene Bell-Villada has been hard at work answering your questions! Oprah's Book Club member aarellano asks: "As I finished reading the book, I felt the urge to cry for the family that I had grown to love. I feel, though, that I might have missed the whole 'lesson' or 'point' of the story. Could you possibly give me some insight on this?"

Gene writes back: "I feel very sympathetic to your avowed 'urge to cry' as you finished reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. In this regard, I've got a confession to make: I first read the book in Spanish in 1969, and when I reached the final sentence I broke down and cried profusely! And I cried yet again when I reread the book and experienced its ending a year later. To this day, I can get chills up my spine when savoring that final paragraph.

"I wouldn't look for a 'lesson' in the novel. García Márquez is not a didactic or moralistic sort of writer. He's basically a storyteller who spins stories for their own sake; that's how his mind operates. When interviewers and critics, looking for some deeper meaning, have asked the author what One Hundred Years of Solitude is 'about,' he likes to answer impishly, 'Well, it's about a family that's afraid to give birth to a child with the tail of a pig.'"


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