Mar 22, 2024 - News

UT's "lost" Gabriel García Márquez novel released

Gabriel Garcia Márquez and his so-called lost novel

The late Gabriel García Márquez and the cover of his newly released "lost" novel, "Until August." Photo: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images/Knopf

A novel that Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez had ordered destroyed before his death has been released and is drawing mixed reviews.

The big picture: "Until August" was the final fictional project of the Colombian-born García Márquez that he tried to finish as he battled dementia and was published by his sons in Spanish and English this month against their father's wishes, Axios' Russell Contreras writes.

  • The unpublished novel was held at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin a decade after García Márquez died.

What they're saying: "In an act of betrayal, we decided to put his readers' pleasure ahead of all other considerations," his sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo García Barcha, write in the new book's preface.

  • They say the book was much better than they remembered it, and it's possible their father's "fading faculties that kept him from finishing the book also kept him from realizing how good it was."

Zoom in: "Until August" follows Ana Magdalena Bach, a middle-aged woman who makes a yearly pilgrimage to an unnamed Caribbean island to visit the resting place of her late mother.

  • While on the annual trip, Ana begins to seek out extramarital affairs with unknown men even though she believes her marriage to a provincial conservatory director is healthy.
  • It is through this journey that she discovers her mom's secret.

The intrigue: An Axios review of the novel found "Until August" uneven with moments of repetition about characters, a sign that García Márquez never had time to really edit his final work.

More of Russell's review

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