Books: Orchids and Bloodlines

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa. 422 pages. Harper & Row. $7.95.

Gabriel Garcia Márquez spent the first eight years of his life in Aracataca, a steamy banana town not far from the Colombian coast. "Nothing interesting has happened to me since," he has said. His experiences there were eventually transformed into a tenderly comic novel, just published in the U.S. after three years of enormous success in Latin America. It has survived export triumphantly. In a beautiful translation, surrealism and innocence blend to form a wholly...