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Memories of My Melancholy Whores


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About the Author

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in 1927 near Aracataca, Colombia. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. He is the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, Living to Tell the Tale, among other works of fiction and nonfiction. This book is translated by Edith Grossman, widely recognized as the preeminent Spanish to English translator of our time.


Garcia Murquez's slim, reflective contribution to the romance of the brothel, his first book-length fiction in a decade, is narrated by perhaps the greatest connoisseur ever of girls for hire. After a lifetime spent in the arms of prostitutes (514 when he loses count at age 50), the unnamed journalist protagonist decides that his gift to himself on his 90th birthday will be a night with an adolescent virgin. But age, followed by the unexpected blossoming of love, disrupts his plans, and he finds himself wooing the allotted 14-year-old in silence for a year, sitting beside her as she sleeps and contemplating a life idly spent. Flashes of GarcIa Murquez's brilliant imagery-the sleeping girl is "drenched in phosphorescent perspiration"-illuminate the novella, and there are striking insights into the euphoria that is the flip side of the fear of death. The narrator's wit and charm, however, are not enough to counterbalance the monotony of his aimlessness. Though enough grace notes are struck to produce echoes of eloquence, this flatness keeps the memories as melancholy as the women themselves. 250,000 first printing. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The 1982 Nobel Prize winner's first novel in ten years begins in classic Garcia Marquez style: "The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." Thus begin the memoirs of a nonagenarian journalist who has frequented brothels regularly throughout his life yet never married. This latest (and unconsummated) affair begins a lengthy involvement during which he realizes he's finally found true love. The novelette, set in the 1950s in a Colombian coastal town, is both a paean to old age and a confirmation of the redemptive power of love: "the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love." Garc!a M rquez connects to his earlier works with amorous epistles, prostitution as metaphor, the theme of regenerative love, and the first-person narrative. One also detects a situational resemblance to Yasunari Kawabata's House of the Sleeping Beauties. With its singular purpose and absence of magic realism, the low-key style of Memories is a far cry from the sweeping mythic world of Macondo. Garc!a M rquez, in his late seventies and suffering from lymph cancer, has appropriately paired a fictional memoir to join the first volume of his true memoirs published in 2003 (Living To Tell the Tale). An excellent translation as always from Grossman; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/05.]-Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Unforgettable. . . . Classic Marquez. " -The Washington Post"Garcia Marquez has composed, with his usual sensual gravity and Olympian humor, a love letter to the dying light." -John Updike, The New Yorker"Luminous. . . . The cunning of Memories lies in the utter-and utterly unexpected-- reliability of its narrator" -The New York Times Book Review he cunning of Memories of My Melancholy Whores lies in the utter--and utterly unexpected--reliability of its narrator."Masterful. Erotic. As hypnotizing as it is disturbing." -Los Angeles Times"As accomplished a piece of storytelling as you are likely to find on the shelves today."-Chicago Tribune"Profoundly haunting. . . . Fiction of the very highest order." -The Times Literary Supplement

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