Beijing publisher reprints books by celebrated author

Updated: 2015-05-23 08:07

By Zhang Yuchen(China Daily)

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To mark the first anniversary of the death of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Chinese literature community has paid tribute to the author by republishing the celebrated Colombian writer's books.

Beijing publisher reprints books by celebrated author

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist[Photo/CHINA DAILY]

To honor the author, who died on April 17 last year at the age of 87, a dozen of his books were reprinted, presenting the gift of his literary vision to Chinese readers.

"All books by Garcia Marquez are flawless," said Li Yao, editor of the foreign literature section of Thinkingdom Publishing House. "Usually great writers have masterpieces and pieces of lesser quality, but not Marquez."

Much of Garcia Marquez's work was translated into Chinese in the 1980s and compiled into a single volume that combined different writing styles. This time, the Beijing-based publishing house retained the original character of his most popular works, known for their magic realism literary style, along with his rare short stories.

"For every literature editor, it is the dream of life to publish Marquez's works in their literature career," Li said of Chinese publishers.

In 2002, the publishing house asked the writer's agent, Carmen Balcells, about acquiring the rights to republish the books. The request was granted in early 2010.

Fan Ye translated the first authorized book, the Garcia Marquez masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. In his 30s, Fan was said to be the perfect candidate to translate the work because he was at a similar stage in life as Garcia Marquez was when he wrote the book.

"Garcia Marquez was a hero of multi-characters who reflected the simplicity and complexity of his works and his passion and solitude," Fan said.

Sheng Keyi, a Chinese writer whose novel Northern Girls brought her global fame upon its release in English in 2012, said writers of her generation and generations before hold Garcia Marquez in high regard. In China, when people talk about "the Colombian writer", they are usually referring to Garcia Marquez.

"I don't know if you can see any clue of influence by Marquez, but I do love him," she said at the event titled Marquez and I, which was held in cooperation with the Colombian embassy in Beijing on April 17, in remembrance of the author's death in Mexico City.

"I had been critical about every writer who was said to be famous, but I was finally convinced of his excellence, both in novel narrating and in telling short stories," said Zhi An, a biography writer, essayist and member of the China Writers Association.

Last year, 10 days after the author's death, 275 readers gathered at the Sanlian Bookstore in the National Arts Museum of China in Beijing and spent 20 continuous hours reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, from cover to cover.

Garcia Marquez's popularity has continued to grow in China. There is even a coffee in China branded Macondo, the fictional town in One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Chinese readers have not seen enough of some of Garcia Marquez's works, such as his autobiography and a volume of his journalism, Li said.