Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel García Márquez's Colombia (July 2018)
In Bogotá, a Spanish humanitarian worker attends a funeral without a body, as a storm of yellow butterflies swirls outside. In the jungle, an English anthropologist finds a tiny peace community fighting to preserve their way of life. And, somewhere in the Andes, an Australian coffee farmer confronts a guava-throwing witch in his tree.
This collection brings together 26 personal essays by writers from across the world, all of whom have lived in Gabriel García Márquez’s homeland. For some, his words are the key to unlocking the enigma of Colombia. For others, living in the land of magic realism brings them a new understanding of his works. With magical rain, young lovers, grumpy old men, ghosts, conflict, politics, heartache, music, madness and more, these non-fiction stories are at once both singularly Colombian and universal in theme.
Kit's reaction: Some wonderful stories in here, and then some others a struggle. I smiled widely at some parts that were so purely Colombia: the man yelling "Aguacate! Aguacate! Aguacate!", the sudden rainstorms, the ubiquitous delivery service. I loved the first tale about the witch in the tree. I think my favorite was the Chinese English teacher with the cat seeing Gabo’s ghost. There were a few that were uncomfortably neocolonialist in there attitude towards the Colombian people, which is sadly true of so much travel writing. But overall I really enjoyed having a little more light shed on Colombian culture from those who have far more experience with it than I do. Since everyone in the book club was coming to 7in7 in Colombia, it was the perfect thing to get us all excited!