By accident, rather than magic, is how Gabriel García Márquez’s granddaughter Emilia found letters addressed to him. Stashed in a box among the author's things, Emilia García Elizondo had no idea what it contained until opening it. The discovery yielded never-before-seen letters addressed to her grandfather. Affectionately nicknamed Gabo, the letters were written by the likes of Pablo Neruda, Fidel Castro, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Historical Friendships
Emilia García Elizondo came across an outstanding discovery left at home by her granddad, Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian author known all around the world. The Nobel Prize-winning creator wrote "grandchildren" on the plastic box he hid in the family photo archive. Truth be told, García Elizondo was a little scared of the odd box when she first held it in her hands. Yet, the granddaughter was too curious to leave it be. As she took the lid off, García Elizondo saw a bunch of old letters! In total, she counted 150 letters. The family or the public have never seen those letters before. Some of those were written by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and even actor Robert Redford.
“I’m 32 years old and all this continues to impress me,” García Elizondo, who is also a director of the García Márquez foundation, said. Previously, she always ignored the cabinet on the second floor of her grandparents’ house. All of García Márquez’s letters and personal items stay in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. So, finding so many new ones came as a surprise to the whole family, as well as the late writer’s fans and followers. “One never expects to find this kind of thing even though one already knows who Gabo is ... I will always think that Gabo does everything like magic,” the granddaughter said.
The family handpicked the letters presented to the public. The ones available included five from Castro, one from Neruda, two from Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, two from Mexican guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos, one from Redford, one from director Woody Allen and seven from Clinton. One Clinton wrote to Gabo talks about the former president's feelings for his wife, Hillary. He described a concert of Colombian vallenato music at the White House. According to the letter, Clinton called the music a “wonderful counterpoint to the negative images often associated with your beautiful country.” Another provided a glimpse into the personal life of Castro from December 10, 2007. “I am subject to a rigorous exercise regimen that I must not fail to comply with if I intend to continue being useful to the revolution,” he wrote to Gabriel García Márquez.
All four grandchildren of the writer miss him. “That’s why we do these kinds of activities. We want to keep this house alive,” said Gonzalo García Barcha, his youngest son and García Elizondo’s father. The exhibition with the letters was a part of celebrations dedicated to the writer receiving his Nobel literature prize. The documents appeared in the colonial house in the southern part of Mexico’s capital. There, García Márquez lived with his wife, Mercedes Barcha until his death. But it’s not the only event celebrating Gabo. In May, Barcelona inaugurated the Gabriel García Márquez Library which cost more than $12 million.
Gabriel García Márquez lived in Barcelona between 1965 and 1975. He “could breathe" there, as he claimed several times.