The Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Annotated by:
Donley, Carol
  • Date of entry: Feb-16-1999


This is the story of a twelve year old who accidentally sets fire to the house where she lives with her grandmother. The grandmother decides that Erendira must pay her back for the loss, and sells her into prostitution in order to make money. The story takes on the characteristics of a bizarre fairy tale, with the evil grandmother forcing her Cinderella-like granddaughter to sell her body. They travel all over for several years, with men lining up for miles to enjoy her.

Meanwhile, Erendira falls in love. Her lover tries to poison the grandmother with arsenic in a birthday cake and to blow her up with a homemade bomb, but she survives all this and continues to dominate, until Erendira's lover finally stabs the grandmother to death. By the time he regains his composure, Erendira has fled alone.

Primary Source

Innocent Erendira and Other Stories


Harper Collins

Place Published

New York



Page Count