March 2024 is publication date for Márquez’s ‘lost’ novel, Until August

From The Bookseller:

Viking will publish Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s ’lost’ novel, Until August, on 12th March 2024. It will be translated by Anne McLean.

The finalised book title, cover design, cover copy and English language publication date were revealed for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday 18th October. Viking announced in May it had acquired the unpublished novel, En Agosto Nos Vemos, loosely translated at the time as We’ll See Each Other Again in August. Isabel Wall, editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in an exclusive submission from the Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells in Barcelona.

The publication, 10 years after Márquez’s death, is being billed as a “landmark literary event” and a global collaboration between publishers, including Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House US and Random House in Spain.

Penguin Random House UK will re-issue 16 titles from Márquez’s backlist over the course of 2024, beginning with six titles on 1st February: One Hundred Years of SolitudeLove in the Time of CholeraNo One Writes to the ColonelChronicle of a Death ForetoldOf Love and Other Demons; and Collected Stories.

Viking said of the unpublished work: “Towards the end of his life, [Márquez] was adding the finishing touches to a new novel – while simultaneously battling dementia. As his final days approached, and with his memory tragically failing, he decided that this new work, despite receiving his final sign off, should not be published after his death.”

After his death in April 2014, Márquez’s sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo García Barcha, respected their father’s wishes, and the finished manuscript was locked away with his other papers in an archive at the University of Texas. However the family later “reconsidered the book’s exceptional qualities, and how much of their father’s genius and colour and love lived within its words”, Viking said. “After long deliberation they made the decision the novel should finally be shared with his millions of devoted readers around the world.”

Rodrigo and Gonzalo García Barcha said: “Until August was the result of our father’s last effort to continue creating against all odds. Reading it once again almost 10 years after his death, we discovered that the text had many highly enjoyable merits and nothing that prevents us from delighting in the most outstanding aspects of Gabo’s work: his capacity for invention, his poetic language, his captivating storytelling, his understanding of humankind and his affection for our experiences and misadventures, especially in love, possibly the main theme of all his work.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

PG would be interested in responses about the decision of Márquez’s two sons not to honor their father’s wishes to not publish his last manuscript.

PG notes that Knopf, the publisher the sons selected, already has a listing for the book on Amazon.

5 thoughts on “March 2024 is publication date for Márquez’s ‘lost’ novel, Until August”

  1. It’s Kafkaesque. Literally/literarily.†

    One wonders whether (a) he was competent to determine that the work should not be published,‡ given the dementia (which I understand was both substantial and resulted in bouts of rage, but that’s a vague memory from an article published during a long recovery from surgery so I may be mistaken), (b) exactly how he let his family know that he didn’t want it published (ditto), and — more to the point — (c) whether he had an opportunity to take the unmistakeable step of destroying the manuscript and chose not to do so… and whether that might have been dementia-impaired.

    † Admittedly, that mostly related to letters and other writings, not full drafts of unpublished works of fiction. Or, given that it was Kafka…

    ‡ Probably more competent than the publisher.

  2. What do their father’s wishes matter? In present times, honor doesn’t even begin to stand up to an influx of cash. I love Márquez’ works. Reading them helped me learn to write fiction. But I will honor him and his wishes by not purchasing a copy.

  3. KKR has repeatedly talked of setting up a literary will to deal with the future of their copyrights, manuscripts, and revenues, including a trusted executor if available.
    It is never too early to get started. Regular revisions can take care of changing conditions.

    Of all possible approaches, doing nothing is the worst. ‘Cause, stuff happens…

    • It could be worse, Alicia. We could be talking about later novels in an Interminable Fantasy Series (choose just about any of them — especially any of them, with to my taste only two exceptions, for which the first volume was published prior to 1987). At least the prose in Go Set a Watchman is competent. No more than that, but no less.

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