Marquez’s Mistake

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote an astonishing true-story tale of a sailor lost at sea for ten days. So what if he had only one source?

It wasn’t questions and answers. The sailor would just tell me his adventures and I would rewrite them trying to use his own words and in the first person, as if he were the one who was writing. When the work was published as a serial in a newspaper, one part each day for two weeks, it was signed by the sailor, not by me. It wasn’t until twenty years later that it was re-published and people found out I had written it. No editor realized that it was good until after I had written One Hundred Years of Solitude.

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Journalist at INSIDER and Business Insider. I’ve published work at GQ, the New Republic, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Pipe Dream. jacobshamsian.com

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Jacob Shamsian

Journalist at INSIDER and Business Insider. I’ve published work at GQ, the New Republic, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and Pipe Dream. jacobshamsian.com