The last novel was a huge challenge for Garcia Marquez – Books

Abriel Garcia Marquez’s posthumous novel, out Wednesday, was a huge challenge for the award-winning Colombian writer as he neared death a decade ago, his sons said.

“Until August,” the latest book from the Nobel Prize-winning giant of Latin American “magical realism,” will be released in the original Spanish on March 6 as “En agosto nos vemos,” and in English later this month.

Fifteen years before his death in 2014, the affectionately known as ‘Gabo’ began writing the story of Ana Magdalena Bach, a middle-aged woman who visits her mother’s grave on a Caribbean island every August, taking advantage of the trips to her family life and having erotic rendezvous with strangers.

In 1999 he read the first chapter publicly, but dissatisfied with the rest of the work he refused to publish it. Instead, he handed over versions of the manuscript to his relatives.

The author, who rose to international fame with novels such as “Love in the Time of Cholera,” considered his last book a “mess” that should be thrown away, sons Rodrigo and Gonzalo Garcia Barcha said Tuesday during an online press event from Spain.

The book “became an indecipherable little thing” in the last years of his life, which were marked by illness and memory loss, Rodrigo said.

But close family members decided to keep the manuscript and other fragments of ‘Until August’ at the Harry Ransom Center, an archive and library at the University of Texas at Austin, in the United States.

According to Gonzalo Garcia, academics who read parts of the work convinced the brothers to unite them in a book, to be published on their father’s 97th birthday.

“When we (re)read the drafts, we realized that the book was much better than we remembered,” Gonzalo Garcia said.

“We began to suspect that just as Gabo lost the ability to write, he also lost his ability to read,” as well as the “ability to review his own writings,” he added.


The Spanish version of the book will be released on Wednesday, while the English version will hit bookstores on March 20, according to Pilar Reyes, editor-in-chief of Penguin Random House.

Although it was rumored that “Until August” had no ending, Garcia Marquez’s children said that he had fully developed the story of his main character Ana Magdalena Bach before his death.

“If anything, the novel was somewhat scattered among an indefinite number of originals, but it was complete,” Gonzalo Garcia emphasized. It was “an archaeological effort” to put the pieces together and reach closure, he said.

Rodrigo predicted that there will be no more hidden Garcia Marquez novels waiting in the wings. ‘Until August’ is ‘the last survivor’ of his literary oeuvre.

Garcia Marquez, who died in Mexico City, is considered one of the world’s most respected authors, the main driver of a great Latin American literary wave that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.

This year, streaming platform Netflix will premiere a series inspired by his masterpiece ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

Leave a Comment