Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Author, Edith Grossman, Translator , trans. from the Spanish by Edith Grossman. Knopf $20 (115p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4460-3

García Márquez'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 García Márquez'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)

Reviewed on: 08/22/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 128 pages - 978-0-307-42686-4
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