Read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Short Story “Light Is Like Water”

Gabriel García Márquez died yesterday at age 87 at home in Mexico City; he was a genius and a magician, and we are lucky to have his work so lucent in the canon, the crystallization of a genre whose influence spreads so far beyond literature, compressing and exploding so much of human instinct and power and need. Here’s his Paris Review Art of Fiction interview (“The trouble is that many people believe that I’m a writer of fantastic fiction, when actually I’m a very realistic person and write what I believe is the true socialist realism”), and a very short story that I love painfully, called “Light Is Like Water.” It’s about two little brothers and a boat, and it’s tiny and simple and a perfect piece of alchemy.

On Wednesday night, like every Wednesday, their parents went to the cinema. The boys, lords and masters of the house, closed the doors and windows and then broke the bulb glowing in one of the living-room lamps. A jet of golden light as cool as water began to pour out of the broken bulb, and they let it run to a depth of almost three feet.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know.