Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The full title is - The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: who drifted on a life raft for ten days without food or water, was proclaimed a national hero, kissed by beauty queens, made rich through publicity, and then spurned by the government and forgotten for all time.

This is a true story of a 20 year-old sailor Luis Alejandro Velasco, who was swept overboard along with seven more crew members of Caldas, a Colombian destroyer in 1955. Velasco was the only one who survived. A search for the seaman had begun immediately, with the cooperation of the U.S. Panama Canal Authority but after four days, the search was abandoned and the lost sailors were officially declared dead. A week later, however, Velasco turned up half dead on a deserted beach in Northern Colombia.
Marquez has captured Velasco’s story brilliantly – his plight on the raft for ten days without food or water, his battle between hunger and morality when he captures a seagull, his struggle for survival, his fight with the sharks over a fish, his hallucinations, his endurance, his loneliness and his determination to survive.
This book, a slim volume, is a journalistic reconstruction of what Velasco told Marquez when he was working with El Espectador. It was originally published as a fourteen consecutive day series of installments in El Espectador newspaper in 1955; it was later published as a book in 1970, and then translated into English by Randolf Hogan in 1986.
About the author -
Gabriel García Márquez, born on March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, department of Magdalena is a Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist.
García Márquez is probably Latin America's best-known writer, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. Although he has written acclaimed non-fiction and short stories, he is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude, published 1967 and Love in the Time of Cholera, published 1985. Credited with introducing the global public to magical realism, he has achieved both significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success.
García Márquez is also well-known for his political views. He is a personal friend of the Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He has expressed support for revolutionary movements in Latin America, and has been critical of politics in his native Colombia. He has facilitated negotiations between revolutionary and government groups in Latin America. He has also called for the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States.

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