The Scandal of the Century and Other Writings

Gabriel García Márquez, trans. from the Spanish by Anne McLean. Knopf, $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-65642-5
This incisive collection of journalistic pieces from the 1950s to the ’80s shows the acclaimed novelist and short story writer García Márquez (1927–2014) in his original guise, as reporter, which he called “the best job in the world.” Even in short-form pieces, the Colombian Nobel laureate’s skill at creating character, mood, and setting shines through, whether he is commenting on water shortages in Caracas, describing Budapest soon after the Soviet invasion, or exposing sex trafficking and prostitution in Paris. The early pieces are for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, which afforded García Márquez his first opportunity to travel abroad, as a roving correspondent in Europe, and the later examples mostly come from his column in the Spanish newspaper El País. The centerpiece is the eponymous work, a compilation of several columns from Rome describing a young woman’s mysterious death, a detective novel-like narrative accompanied by perceptive commentary on the role of press and public opinion. As with any collection, some selections are more successful than others, but all reflect García Márquez’s humor, graceful style, and ability to find the human interest in every topic. His many Anglophone fans will be pleased to have these newly translated examples of his writing to read. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/25/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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