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Unraveling Marquez the man

The Fragrance of Guava... transcends the boundaries of Marquez, the writer, and delves more into Marquez the man.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 12:20 IST

Fragrance of Guava - Conversations with Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Author: Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza
• Price — Rs 500
• Publication — Penguin India

Most of us have heard about and most likely read Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One of the most celebrated authors of the 21st century, Marquez has created a niche for himself in the literary world. The Fragrance of Guava... transcends the boundaries of Marquez, the writer, and delves more into Marquez the man. In conversation with good friend and journalist Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Marquez the person behind the covers of now famous books like Hundred Years of Solitude and Chronicles of a Death Foretold is unraveld.

The book provides a great insight into his life — his early days, his Columbian family background, his struggle as a budding author and journalist and then the success. More than just the informative value, it systematically deconstructs the aura around the great author.

Divided into different chapters based on his work, this book is a rare window into Marquez’s personality. It also shows us how so often critics tend to unearth dimensions of good literary work even when those dimensions never existed for the writer himself. For Marquez, the personal reflections and subtle references to his real life in his books are more satisfying than the kind of claims accredited to him by the critics.

Marquez was interested in politics and shared a close relationship with Fidel Castro. Unlike biographical works, this book is a conversation between two friends and as a result it gives us a more enriched and clear account of Marquez’s life.

It is a must read for all Marquez fans as the book puts his writings into perspective and makes his readers understand the subtleties embedded in his work.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 15:26 IST