Gabriel García Márquez, literary giant, lays down his pen

Fans of the Colombian author are facing prospect that the literary legend has written his last book

He is the 82-year old giant of Latin American literature who pioneered the school of magical realism and inspired a generation of novelists. But Gabriel Garcia Marquez has barely written a word since his last novel, Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores, came out to distinctly mixed reviews five years ago.

Now fans of the Colombian author are facing the prospect that, after a career spanning half a century, Garcia Marquez has finally laid down his pen for good.

His agent, Carmen Balcells, told the Chilean newspaper La Tercera : "I don't think that García Márquez will write anything else."

Despite longstanding rumours he would never write again, hopes were raised last year when the Colombian writer Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, a friend, said Marquez was in fact working on a new novel.

But Balcell's comments seem to put paid to that, and were supported by García Márquez's biographer, Gerald Martin, who told La Tercera he too doubts anything new will be published in his lifetime.

"I also believe that Gabo won't write any more books, but I don't think this is too regrettable, because as a writer it was his destiny to have the immense satisfaction of having a totally coherent literary career many years before the end of his natural life," said Martin.

García Márquez has in the past talked openly of the strain placed on him by his literary career. Last December he told fans at Mexico's Guadalajara book fair that he was worn out by writing: "It's a lot of work for me to write books."

He had previously admitted that 2005 "was the first [year] in my life in which I haven't written even a line. With my experience, I could write a new novel without any problems, but people would realise my heart wasn't in it."

García Márquez is best known for One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, and News of a Kidnapping. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1982. A number of older, completed manuscripts are rumoured to be in his possession, but no decision has been made as to whether they will be published while he is still alive.


Paul Hamilos

The GuardianTramp

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