Ellen Gilchrist's Bookshelf
By Gabriel García Márquez
I began reading this book on a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands. A fellow poet had given it to me, saying it was poetry made into prose, the thing Ernest Hemingway felt we should strive to create. William Faulkner also made poetry into prose, and later I would learn that Márquez had studied Faulkner when he was learning to write. The opening line is famous among writers. We all wish we could create one this good: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."