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May 17 , 2010

The Autumn of the Patriarch


Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, explores the loneliness of power in Autumn of the Patriarch.

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'Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside'

As the citizens of an unnamed Caribbean nation creep through dusty corridors in search of their tyrannical leader, they cannot comprehend that the frail and withered man lying dead on the floor can be the self-styled General of the Universe. Their arrogant, manically violent leader, known for serving up traitors to dinner guests and drowning young children at sea, can surely not die the humiliating death of a mere mortal?

Tracing the demands of a man whose egocentric excesses mask the loneliness of isolation and whose lies have become so ingrained that they are indistinguishable from truth, Marquez has created a fantastical portrait of despotism that rings with an air of reality.

'Delights with its quirky humanity and black humour and impresses by its total originality' Vogue

'Captures perfectly the moral squalor and political paralysis that enshrouds a society awaiting the death of a long-term dictator' Guardian

'Marquez writes in this lyrical, magical language that no-one else can do' Salman Rushdie

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