The Must-Read Book Club
Juan Pablo: I have been a lifelong fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, being introduced to his works at a very early age by my father.
After Garcia Marquez passed away in 2014, I began to re-read all his works and catch up on the ones I had not yet read. Living to Tell the Tale is the 1st part of his memoir focusing on his childhood in different cities in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, his schooling in Bogota during one of the most terrifying, violent episodes in the political history of Colombia (The assassination of presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948; the ensuing riots that left most of the city's downtown destroyed and thousands of people dead) , and the beginning of his professional life as a struggling writer and journalist.
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
JP: Garcia Marquez is famous for his unique style, and exquisite sentence craft. There are several quotes and passages in all of his books... some that come to mind in this particular work are:
"Nostalgia, as always, had wiped away bad memories and magnified the good ones. No one was safe from its onslaught."
And, of course, there is the famous preface, "Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers, and how one remembers it in order to recount it."
YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?
JP: Anyone who is a fan of Garcia Marquez, and wants to know how the signature Magic Realism of his works came to be. I would also recommend this book to anyone who is interested in an artist's creative process. This book shows how life's experiences ultimately shapes the writer's view and unique style. It may have been a writer in this case. but the same process could have taken place for a painter, sculptor, choreographer... any artist really.
Or more simply put, I would also recommend this book to anyone interested in a very compelling story. To those who enjoy fine literature and would enjoy a book written in exquisite prose. It was hard for me to put down, both because of the story and the style. The book has both style AND substance.
YCNC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
JP: As with any great great prose, there is a universal quality to this story that made me identify with the author. I could relate to Garcia Marquez when he goes down memory lane; reminiscing and reflecting about early life experiences, people, places and situations and how those, in turn, shape us into the person we become later in life.
You can purchase Living to Tell the Tale here.
Juan Pablo teaches at Yoga Agora and Harlem's Brahman Yoga.
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