Prize-winning journalist Silvana Paternostro was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, home to García Márquez’s fabled literary group, La Cueva. In 1999, she was selected by Time/CNN as one of “Fifty Latin American Leaders for the Millennium,” and is the author of In the Land of God and Man, nominated for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and My Colombian War. A frequent contributor to English and Spanish publications including the New York Times, the Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, and Malpensante and Gatopardo, she lives between New York City and Colombia.
Álvaro Enrigue was a Cullman Center Fellow and a Fellow at the Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies. He has taught at New York University, Princeton University, the University of Maryland, and Columbia University. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The White Review, n+1, London Review of Books, El País, among others.
Irrevent and hopeful, Solitude & Company recounts the life of a boy from the provinces who decided to become a writer. This is the story of how he did it, how little Gabito became Gabriel García Márquez, and of how Gabriel García Márquez survived his own self-creation.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, BC, before Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), his siblings speak and those who were friends before García Márquez became the universally loved Latin American icon. Those who knew him when he still didn't have a proper English tailor nor an English biographer, and didn't accompany presidents. It gathers together the voices around the boy from the provinces, the sisters and brothers, the childhood friends, the drinking buddies and penniless fellow students.
The second part, AC, describes the man behind the legend that García Márquez became. From Aracataca, to Baranquila, to Bogota, to Paris, to Mexico City, the solitude that García Márquez needed to produce his masterpiece turns out to have been something of a raucous party whenever he wasn't actually writing. Here are the writers Tomás Eloy Martínez, Edmundo Paz Soldán and William and Rose Styron; legendary Spanish agent Carmen Balcells; the translator of A Hundred Years of Solitude Gregory Rabassa; Gabo's brothers Luis Enrique, Jaime, Eligio and Gustavo, and his sisters Aida and Margot; María Luisa Elío, to whom A Hundred Years of Solitude is dedicated; and so much more: a great deal of music, especially the vallenato; the hilarious scenes of several hundred Colombians, García Márquez's chosen delegation, flying to Stockholm for the Nobel Prize celebrations; the time Mario Vargas Llosa punched Gabriel García Márquez in the face; and much, much more.