Nearshore Americas

‘The Scandal of the Century’ Celebrates García Márquez the Journalist

Colombian author and 1982 Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) began his writing life as a reporter, and acknowledged that many of the ideas for his short stories and novels were gleaned from newspapers.

In addition to his fiction, which has come to epitomize the magical realism genre, García Márquez also turned his attention to current affairs, such as the abductions carried out by the cohorts of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the 1990s, and which he chronicled in his 1996 non-fiction book ‘News of a Kidnapping’.

The posthumous ‘The Scandal of the Century’, published in the US by Alfred A. Knopf, compiles a selection of his articles and essays published between 1950 and 1984, covering a broad range of themes, from Budapest after the Soviet invasion and prostitution in Paris to travel and translation, with many of the articles also focusing on his native country.

Featuring pieces that first appeared in newspapers such as Colombia’s El Espectador and Spain’s El País, the book stands as a testament to the author’s ‘day job’ as a jobbing journalist, a career that would later inspire him to co-found the Ibero-American New Journalism Foundation (FNPI) in 1995, and which fosters the work of journalists through scholarships, awards and collaborative research projects.

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Adam Critchley

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