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Vivir para contarla / Living to Tell the Tale

Biography / Memoirs , 2001

Literatura Random House

With Living to Tell the Tale, Gabriel García Márquez offers the first volume of his life story, a tale as rich in humor and fantastic incident as any of his unforgettable novels. It takes the reader from his birth in Aracataca, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, through his childhood and school years in Baranquilla and Bogotá, into his early years as a journalist and up to the moment in 1955 when he leaves for Europe with a promise from the woman he will eventually marry.

Living to Tell the Tale has the shape, the quality, and the vividness of a conversation with the reader—a tale of people, places, and events as they occur to him: the colorful stories of his eccentric family members; the great influence of his mother and maternal grandfather; the myths and mysteries of his beloved Colombia; personal details, undisclosed until now, that would appear later, transmuted and transposed, in his fiction; and, above all, his fervent desire to become a writer. As in his fiction, the narrator here is an inspired observer of the physical world, able to make clear the emotions and passions that lie at the heart of a life—in this instance, García Márquez’s own.

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