Friday, April 18, 2014
The Macondo of the soul: How Gabriel García Márquez taught me to believe in words
I was a girl growing up in a Guatemala wracked by a bloody, undeclared civil war. I knew magic existed, because I knew books existed. And there was one I wanted desperately to read — Cien Años de Soledad — One Hundred Years of Solitude, which was on my mother’s nightstand and on the lips of every adult in my life. I was seven.
“Can I read it?” I asked my mother.
“No, you’re not old enough,” she responded.
I knew what that meant. It must have sex in it, and no amount of complaining would change her mind.
García Márquez was a journalist before he became a fiction writer and I, who have followed that same trajectory, understand perfectly why. Some truths can only be told in fiction; some reports rival the most vile and grotesque imaginings.
To read this column in its entirety, click here.