Not the kind of behavior, his mother told him, for someone with the potential to be a novelist. If he was going to be a writer, Garcia Marquez shot back, he wanted to be "one of the greats and they don't make them anymore."
A little more than two decades later, with the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude, a history of the settlement in Colombia he named Macondo, set on the border between "true facts" and imagined details, Garcia Marquez became world-famous. In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1985, he attracted millions more readers with Love in the Time of Cholera, a remarkable meditation on the human terms of endearment.
In Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gerald Martin, a professor emeritus of modern languages at the University of Pittsburgh, provides a richly detailed, authorized biography, based on conversations with his subject, conducted over 15 years; hundreds of interviews with family members, friends, and foes; and extensive archival research.
Though Martin pulls a punch or two in assessing Garcia Marquez's fidelity to Fidel Castro, his book is a judicious - and occasionally juicy - examination of the relationship among Gabo's life, his politics, and his work.