A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes
Why I picked this book?

A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes – A Son’s Memoir is a memoir of his parents written by Rodrigo Garcia. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and is a recipient of 1982 Noble prize for literature. So, when I got to know that a memoir of him and his wife is out and written by his son, I thought of reading it to know more about the great writer, who was fondly known as Gabo.

the book

A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes came into being when the author started to document the final days of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was when his father fondly known as Gabo fell ill in 2014, and his mother said we might not get out of this. That is when the author realised that an era is about to end and started to write the story of his father’s final days.

The author takes the readers down to memory lane to his childhood and the daily routine of the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He remembers and shares many fond memories of his father and his childhood together. There are many stories and anecdotes that gives the readers and idea about Gabo and why he is considered one of the greatest writer of 20th century.

The book is written very beautifully with a calmness of knowing and accepting that death is inevitable. The author celebrates the well lived life of his father Gabo. The author gives a glimpse of the life of his father with some small and little instances which stayed with the author like words of wisdom. His daily routine over the years, his friends and acquaintances, his popularity as a writer, his winning the Noble Prize for literature and the love and respect he got from his readers all find mention in the book.

I wish I knew how my parents remembered their younger selves, or that I had even an inkling of what they thought of their place in the world, back when their lives were confined by the small towns of Colombian childhoods. I would give anything to spend an hour with my father he was a rascal of nine, or with my mother when she was a spirited girl of eleven, both unable to suspect the extraordinary lives that awaited them.

The author remembers her mother as a very spirited women, who’s spirit never waned even during her last days when she was put on oxygen. She died during the Covid pandemic.

The death of the second parent is like looking through the telescope one night and no longer finding a planet that has always been there. It has vanished, with its religion, it’s customs, it’s own peculiar habits and rituals, big and small. The echo remains. I think of my father every morning when I dry my back with a towel the way he taught me struggling with it at the age of six. Much of his advice is always with me.

The book is short, crisp and an emotional read. The way author accepts the reality and inevitability of death is philosophical. It is hard to see your parents go yet the truth is everyone has to go. A beautifully written memoir.

About The Author

Rodrigo Garcia was born in Colombia, grew up in Mexico City, and now lives in Los Angeles with his family. He studied history at Harvard University before becoming a screenwriter and director. His theatrical films include Nine Lives, Albert Nobbs, and Last Days in the Desert, and he has directed episodes of Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, and the pilot of Big Love, for which he received an Emmy nomination. He was a writer, executive producer, and series showrunner for HBO’s In Treatment, and directed several of the series’ episodes. 

Our Verdict

A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes a moving farewell by the author to his parents.

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