Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez celebrates his 85th birthday Tuesday with a special gift: the start of sales of an electronic version of his masterpiece novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
"I do not know if it will be as successful as hoped but it is the goal," Carmen Balcells, Garcia Marquez's literary agent, said in an interview Monday with Colombian radio Caracol.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary since Garcia Marquez received the Nobel Prize for Literature. One Hundred Years of Solitude has already sold 30 million copies worldwide.
Garcia Marquez was born March 6, 1927 in the Colombian Caribbean town of Aracataca but has lived in Mexico for several decades. Now weakened by cancer, he did not resume writing after his latest novel, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," in 2004.
The writer, whose public appearances are rare now, "is a little woozy," his agent said.
A tribute is planned Tuesday in Garcia Marquez's hometown by a foundation which promotes tourism in the Caribbean village of Aracataca. "For years, we have celebrated this anniversary sacredly each year," the poet Rafael Dario Jimenez, director of the foundation, told AFP.
"One Hundred Years of Solitude" tells the saga of a troubled family of Macondo, an imaginary village, in the 19th and 20th centuries. It has been translated into 35 languages but only now is appearing in a digital edition.
The electronic version is being sold by the Spanish company Leer-e and Mondadori, an Italian book publisher. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is Garcia Marquez's fourth book published electronically.