Appropriately, for one of the biggest literary egos of modern times, the longest book Gabriel García Márquez has ever written is his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale. This is a work that begins not with the birth of the great Colombian writer but with the youthful journey he made with his mother to sell the Márquez family home at Aracataca (the future ‘Macondo’). All this serves as a clever literary device to bring together key elements that went into the writing of his most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude: a family history of abandonment, illegitimacy and poverty set against a background of passionate crimes, near magical occurrences, continual political upheaval, and the appalling consequences of the strike by United Fruit Company workers.
Living to Tell the Tale ends abruptly with the 28-year-old Márquez’s move to Europe and his simultaneous decision to marry the woman whom he has left behind in Colombia, Mercedes Barcha, whose potential as a wife he supposedly spotted when she was only nine. Márquez’s own rendering of his story