While reviewing the photo archives left by Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of his granddaughters came across a mysterious plastic box with the word “grandchildren” written on its label.

At first, Emilia Garcia Elizondo was afraid to open the box but curiosity overcame her. Inside were 150 unpublished letters that he received from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, former US President Bill Clinton, Cuban President Fidel Castro and actor Robert Redford, among others.

Forty of the letters are being exhibited now for two months in the colonial house in the southern part of Mexico’s capital where Garcia Marquez lived with his wife, Mercedes Barcha, from the 1980s until his death in 2014.

The exhibition is part of celebrations for the 40th anniversary of his winning the Nobel literature prize. Another event,

You got mail: letters sent to Garcia Marquez to be exhibited in Mexico City

While reviewing the photo archives left by Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of his granddaughters came across a mysterious plastic box with the word “grandchildren” written on its label.

At first, Emilia Garcia Elizondo was afraid to open the box but curiosity overcame her. Inside were 150 unpublished letters that he received from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, former US President Bill Clinton, Cuban President Fidel Castro and actor Robert Redford, among others.

Forty of the letters are being exhibited now for two months in the colonial house in the southern part of Mexico’s capital where Garcia Marquez lived with his wife, Mercedes Barcha, from the 1980s until his death in 2014.

The exhibition is part of celebrations for the 40th anniversary of his winning the Nobel literature prize. Another event, which includes the exhibition Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Making Of A Global Writer, opened recently in Mexico’s Museum of Modern Art.

“I’m 32 years old and all this continues to impress me,” said Garcia Elizondo, who is director of the Garcia Marquez foundation, describing her shock at finding the box in a cabinet on the second floor of her grandparents’ house. She had passed the cabinet many times without paying much attention to it.

Forty of the letters are being exhibited now for two months in the colonial house in the southern part of Mexico’s capital where Garcia Marquez lived from the 1980s until his death in 2014. Photo: APForty of the letters are being exhibited now for two months in the colonial house in the southern part of Mexico’s capital where Garcia Marquez lived from the 1980s until his death in 2014. Photo: AP

Garcia Marquez’s granddaughter said the discovery was a surprise for the family because they thought all his letters and personal correspondences were in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which possesses the largest collection of the writer’s documents.

“One never expects to find this kind of thing even though one already knows who Gabo is … I will always think that Gabo does everything like magic,” she said.

Garcia Marquez is know affectionately in Latin America as Gabo.

Among the letters that will be exhibited are five from Castro, one from Neruda, two from Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, two from Mexican guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos, one from Redford, one from director Woody Allen and seven from Clinton.

In one of them, dated Dec 28, 1999, Clinton told the Colombian writer the emotion he and his wife, Hillary, felt at a concert of Colombian vallenato music given by young people at the White House. He described the music as a “treasure” and a “wonderful counterpoint to the negative images often associated with your beautiful country.”

Also included is a letter that Castro wrote by hand, dated Dec. 10, 2007, in which he writes: “I am subject to a rigorous exercise regimen that I must not fail to comply with if I intend to continue being useful to the revolution.”

Gonzalo Garcia Barcha, the writer’s youngest son and Emilia’s father, said the family misses Garcia Marquez very much. Garcia Marquez has four grandchildren.

“That’s why we do these kinds of activities. We want to keep this house alive,” he said. – AP



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