Fidel and Gabo: A Portrait of the Legendary Friendship Between Fidel Castro and Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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An exposé of the controversial friendship between Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Fidel Castro.
Few contemporary writers are more revered by Americans than Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude. And few political leaders are more reviled than Fidel Castro. Yet these two seemingly disparate men are close friends. What could possibly unite ...
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An exposé of the controversial friendship between Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Fidel Castro.
Few contemporary writers are more revered by Americans than Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude. And few political leaders are more reviled than Fidel Castro. Yet these two seemingly disparate men are close friends. What could possibly unite these two men in friendship?
In Fidel and Gabo, Márquez scholars Ángel Esteban and Stéphanie Panichelli examine this strange, intimate, and incredibly controversial friendship between the beloved author and Cuban dictator, exposing facets of their personalities never before revealed to the greater public. For years, Márquez, long fascinated with power, solicited and flattered Castro in hopes of a personal audience, for he viewed Castro’s Cuba as the model on which Latin American would one day build its own brand of socialism. Upon their first meeting, Castro quickly came to regard Márquez as a genius and still calls him his closest friend and confidant. To this day, Márquez still gives Castro “first look” at all his manuscripts and craves his approval.Fidel and Gabo is a vivid and in-depth look at two of the most influential men of the modern era, their worlds, and the effect this friendship has had on their life and works.
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Editorial Reviews

The Christian Science Monitor
“Esteban and Panichelli frame Fidel and Gabo in a recurring muse-like narrative voice.... the anecdotes it offers are intriguing.”
Publishers Weekly
There's no romance in the relationship between the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the Nobel-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, argues this stinging j'accuse. On the surface their friendship is chummy and literary: Castro drops by García Márquez's Havana mansion—a gift from Castro himself—for endless conversation and critiques his manuscripts. But the authors view the men's bond as corrupt and neurotic: García Márquez, obsessed with power in both his fiction and real life, gets political influence; Castro, in turn, gets cultural prestige and a matchless propagandist. The authors condemn García-Márquez's public silence over Cuban censorship and human rights violations. Almost compulsive in their point scoring, the authors jeer at the novelist for going to American rather than Cuban hospitals. More polemic than biography, their study tellingly rebukes the Left's propensity for blinding itself to the failings of the Cuban revolution by glamorizing its leaders. (Sept.)
Library Journal
One Fidel, two legendary friendships, two books. Reid-Henry's is an exciting, fast-paced history that finally has more to do with the revolutionary movement celebrating its 50th anniversary this year than with the relationship between Castro and Che Guevara. That relationship was one of revolutionary intellectualism and a deep trust. First-timer Reid-Henry explores Fidel's abiding faith in Guevara's abilities and strategies in an adventure story that often reads like fiction. Utilizing primary-source materials and interviews to construct the 12-year relationship between the two revolutionaries, he has created a memorable book.
Kirkus Reviews
A frenetic look at the controversial friendship between a literary and a political giant. On April 9, 1948, following the assassination of revolutionary political leader Jorge Gaitan, two law students joined the rioting on the streets of Bogota, Colombia. Though they didn't yet know each other, the momentous night made a significant impact on both men-Fidel Castro has now famously written about seeing amid the chaos a young man with a typewriter. That man was Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garc'a Marquez. Nearly ten years later, Marquez, then a journalist, moved to Havana to cover the Castro revolution and was so inspired by the leader that he opened first the Bogota and then the North American branch of Prensa Latina, Castro's news agency. From this collaboration a friendship blossomed. For literature fans, Marquez's political activism might come as a surprise. Prior to the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967, the author and his family suffered from crippling poverty. Even after his international success, he believed that Castro's politics were the answer to the many social and economic problems plaguing Latin America. Historians Esteban (Latin American Literature/Univ. of Granada) and Panichelli (Modern Languages/Wingate Univ.) chronicle the friendship through a list-like description of events that, while peppered with analysis, is hardly a riveting narrative. The authors' research is careful and thorough, and details of the friendship humanize both legendary figures. However, Marquez also wrote about this profound friendship in his memoir, Living to Tell the Tale (2002), and his version is compelling and moving in a way that this second-person account could neverbe. Skip this and go straight to the sources.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605980584
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ángel Esteban is a Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Granada and a visiting professor at the University of Delaware. He has taught at Princeton University and at thirty other universities around the world, and is the author of more than forty books. He splits his time between New York City and Granada.

Stéphanie Panichelli studied Romance Philology at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. She taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University prior to joining the Department of Modern Languages faculty at Wingate University in North Carolina in 2006.

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