Books: Solitude the Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Translated by Randolph Hogan Knopf; 128 pages; $13.95

Three stories dovetail in this small book. One of them involves the ordeal of Luis Alejandro Velasco, a sailor on a Colombian destroyer. He was swept overboard and into the Caribbean, along with seven other crew members, on Feb. 28, 1955, and endured ten days in a life raft before swimming ashore to what would become a hero's welcome. Once the cheering had died down, Velasco offered to sell his account to El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota. A young reporter named Gabriel Garcia Marquez spent some 120 hours interviewing the survivor and shaping his recollections into a first-person narrative. When...

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