Celebrating Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 80th Birthday


By Carmen Comment

The author of 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE and LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA turned 80 yesterday, and with it came a proclamation that he’s reversed his decision to stop writing, reports the LA Times’ Chris Kraul. After telling friends the disappointing news last year that he had “run out of gas” and was quitting writing, Gabriel Garcia Marquez now says he is working on his memoirs, picking up where his first bestselling volume, 2004’s LIVE TO TELL THE TALE, left off. The news arrives as an unexpected birthday present for Colombians, who are gearing up for a month-long celebration as the nation pays tribute to its most famous son. Capping off the month will be a gala event in the colonial city of Cartagena on March 26, with a guest list befitting a global personage and including famous authors, monarchs, statesmen and former President Clinton.

There are other anniversaries to celebrate: the 40th for 100 YEARS; the 25th anniversary of his 1982 Nobel Prize for literature; and the 60th of his first published work of fiction, the short story “The Third Resignation.” Colombian culture minister Elvira Cuervo de Jaramilllo said the fabulous confluence of so many important anniversaries in one year could “only happen to a personage like Garcia Marquez.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports on one such celebration in Aracataca, Colombia, Garcia Marquez’s hometown and the inspiration for Macondo, the fictional setting of 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE.