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May 31, 2009



It's hard to hear anything about Garcia Marquez and not think about our family. So I understand how it was a grief trigger for you. When I first read the book back in the early 90s I was stunned to read the word Macondo (the Village that is the central setting of the book) on the very first page. That was the name of the group of friends that our parents had. One of their friends even had a Singing group called "The Macondos". I will never forget how I called Mami right away and she was so matter of fact about it. "You mean you didn't know?" and she laughed. I had fun listening to her recall how they each identified with the different characters, unfortunately, I can't remember who they identified with. I can't remember if my father was Jose Arcadio or Aureliano or if my mother was Remedios. It doesn't matter, the point was that my mother told me that One Hundred Years of Solitude was Papi's favorite book ever. I

As I read each page I felt the strong presence of my father. I think that reading it helped me understand him better and grow closer to him in a way that was not possible for me. I didn't have the privilege of getting to know him as an adult and transforming our relationship into that wonderful adult father daughter relationship that so many of my friends enjoy with their fathers. I could picture myself talking to him about the book.

I had the next best thing which was my Aunt Ele who had read the book several times in Spanish and English. She even told me that Edith Grossman's translations were better than Gregory Rabassa(sp?) I didn't need Cliff notes because Ele could tell me what different events were based on, what events were true, etc.

After Mami died and I found her Spanish copy, I could think of nothing better than to give it to my Panamanian friend. I know that Garcia Marquez is her favorite author of all time. Besides, I couldn't read it in Spanish, the vocabulary is too high for me. So, I gave it to Aracely and told her to enjoy it and to think of her Colombian friend. She said, "Diana I will always remember you and your family from now on whenever I read anything by him." I can't think of a better way to be remembered.


I am so sorry. Thinking of you always.

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