News of a Kidnapping (Vintage International) by Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman

By Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman

In 1990, fearing extradition to the U.S., Pablo Escobar – head of the Medell?n drug cartel – abducted ten extraordinary Colombians to take advantage of as bargaining chips. With the attention of a poet, Garc?a M?rquez describes the survivors’ perilous ordeal and the unusual drama of the negotiations for his or her liberate. He additionally depicts the keening discomfort of Colombia after approximately 40 years of insurgent uprisings, right-wing dying squads, foreign money cave in and narco-democracy. With cinematic depth, breathtaking language and journalistic rigor, Garc?a M?rquez conjures up the disorder that inflicts his liked state and the way it penetrates each strata of society, from the lowliest peasant to the President himself.

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Claudia, his beautiful and patient wife, would become irritated because he wandered the house like a sleepwalker, not knowing where the water glasses were kept or how to close a door or take ice cubes from the freezer, and he had an almost magical faculty for ignoring the things he despised. And yet his most uncommon traits were a statue’s impassivity that did not give the slightest clue as to what he was thinking, and a merciless talent for ending a conversation with two or three words, or a heated discussion with a single polished monosyllable.

She had worked on Diana’s newscast for some years, and their relationship had never been more than professional, but they identified with each other in their misfortune. They read the papers together, talked all night, and tried to sleep until it was time for lunch. Diana was a compulsive conversationalist, and from her Azucena learned lessons about life that never would have been taught in school. The members of her crew recall Diana as an intelligent, cheerful, animated companion, and an astute political analyst.

The television stayed on, as if it were in a child’s room, but no one watched it. Yet the hostages scrutinized the newscasts with microscopic care, trying to discover coded messages from their families. They never knew, of course, how many they missed or how many innocent phrases were mistaken for messages of hope. Alberto Villamizar appeared on various news shows eight times in the first two days, certain that the victims would hear his voice on at least one of them. And almost all of Maruja’s children worked in the media.

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