Gabriel García Márquez is dead at 87; he is survived by his stories, and his many readers.
In his autobiography García Márquez told this story of a surprise visit by his mother:
My mother asked me to go with her to sell the house. She had come that morning from the distant town where the family lived, and she had no idea how to find me. She asked around among acquaintances and was told to look for me at the Librería Mundo, or in the nearby cafes, where I went twice a day to talk with my writer friends. […] She arrived at twelve sharp. With he light step she made her way among the tables of books on display, stopped in front of me, looking into my eyes with the mischievous smile of her better days, and before I could react she said:
“I’m your mother.”
Something in her had changed, and this kept me from recognizing her at first glance. She was forty-five. Adding up her eleven births, she had spent almost ten years pregnant and at least another ten nursing her children. She had gone gray before her time, her eyes seemed larger and more startled behind her first bifocals, and she wore strict, somber mourning for the death of her mother, but she still preserved the Roman beauty of her wedding portrait, dignified now by an autumnal air. Before anything else, even before she embraced me, she said in her customary, ceremonial way:
“I’ve come to ask you to please go with me to sell the house.”
— Living to Tell the Tale, Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman (Translator)
García Márquez is a storyteller and one of his most famous stories is about the Buendía family who lived in the fictional town of Macondo, which is in the Colombian jungle near Aracataca. It is the story of Ice.
One day in March, José Arcadio Buendía and his wife Úrsula Buendía saw that gypsies had set up a camp near town.
“At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums they would display new inventions. First they brought the magnet…”
–One Hundred Years of Solitude, tr. Gregory Rabassa.
Eyes of a blue dog is a collection of 14 short stories by the Colombian Nobel Prize winner Garcia Marquez. The stories were written from 1947 to 1955 and show the inventiveness of the young Garcia Marquez.
Rest in peace, Gabo.