Haresh Shah

My Close Encounter With The (Angry) Master of Magical Realism

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It’s October 29, 1982.  The master of magical realism – Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez has just won the Nobel PrizePlayboy magazine has in its inventory a recently concluded interview with him, conducted by the veteran journalist, Claudia Dreifus.  The interview has been transcribed from hours and hours of time Ms. Dreifus spent talking with García Márquez in his Paris apartment.  It has been edited and ready to go – almostPlayboy has promised García Márquez that it would show him the edited version, mainly to check facts and to point out inaccuracies.  As a matter of policy and editorial integrity, the magazine does not give the interview subjects right of approval.  Normally, Playboy closes most of its issues three to four months in advance.  García Márquez would make the trip to Stockholm in December to accept the Prize.  The interview must appear as close to the Nobel ceremony as possible.  This means, the scheduled February interview had to be pulled and be replaced by García Márquez interview.  The problem is; the elusive Nobel laureate is nowhere to be found. Several frenetic phone calls from Playboy editors to his house in Mexico City are answered again and again by his maid.  He has gone away on a month long vacation, leaving behind strict instructions that he didn’t wish to be reached.

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