The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother

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The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother
Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1984.jpg
Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1984.
AuthorGabriel García Márquez
Publication date

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and her Heartless Grandmother (Spanish: La increíble y triste historia de la cándida Eréndira y de su abuela desalmada) is a 1972 short story by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez.

Plot summary[edit]

Fourteen-year-old Eréndira is living, basically as a slave, with her grandmother when she accidentally sets fire to their mansion. The grandmother forces Eréndira to repay the debt by becoming a prostitute as they travel the road as vagrants. Men line up to enjoy Eréndira's services and eventually, after several years, Ulises, one of her clients, falls in love with her. She returns his affection and he eventually becomes willing to help her to freedom; he formulates a plan to escape with her and live off a fortune from oranges which contain diamonds smuggled by his Dutch father. The only obstacle lies in her grandmother, whom Eréndira convinces Ulises to kill. Not being the homicidal type, he attempts poisoning and an explosive, but must eventually resort to stabbing her while she sleeps. After he regains his composure following the murder, Eréndira runs off into the night alone with her grandmother's gold, leaving him in the tent with the grandmother.

Eréndira and her grandmother make an appearance in One Hundred Years of Solitude, another book by García Márquez when the character Aureliano meets Eréndira in a brothel and promises to marry her only to find her and her grandmother vanished the next morning. Also included in this story are characters from other Márquez works, such as the spider with the woman's head from "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and Blacamán the Good from the story "Blacamán the Good: Vendor of Miracles".


The short story was adapted to the 1983 art film Eréndira, directed by Ruy Guerra. Irene Papas acted as the Grandmother and Cláudia Ohana as Eréndira. Violeta Dinescu's opera Eréndira [de], to a German-language libretto, premiered in 1992 in Stuttgart.[1]


External links[edit]