Gabriel García Márquez: A Life
In his exhaustively researched biography of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Gerald Martin, who spent seventeen years examining every aspect of Marquez’s life and interviewing over 300 people, beautifully takes the reader through the life and times of one of Latin America’s most influential writers, a Nobel Prize winner, and one of the most popular novelist in the last fifty years.
Martin traces Márquez’s (or “Gabo” as he is affectionately referred to throughout the biography) early beginnings back to Aratacata’s early days and to the life of Colonel Nicholás R. Márquez Mejia, Gabo’s maternal grandfather, who played an influential and supportive role in the young boy’s life until he was swooped up by his nomadic parents at nine years old. It’s during that time, Martin writes, that the inspiration for One Hundred Years of Solitude was born and where Gabo learned of magic via his superstitious grandmother.
Living with his parents, Martin writes of the antagonistic relationship with his philandering father, his secondary school years where writes poetry and is acknowledged as a brilliant young scholar, to his University days as a law student, who has no interest in the law, but in literature.
Martin painstakingly examines Gabo’s career as an investigative journalist, his travels to Europe and later to Mexico, where he wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel was published six years later, catapulting Márquez to fame, fortune and friendships with notable leaders of the left including Spain’s Felipe Gonzàlez, France’s François Mitterand, and Cuba’s Fidel Castro—a source of controversy and criticism for the author who has been a lifelong Liberal.
Gabriel García Márquez: A Life is a magical and intoxicating book that is much more than one man’s life story; it is part history, part cultural studies, and part political science. Gerald Martin provides a mesmerizing tribute to an extraordinary writer.