/Mercedes Barcha, Gabriel García Márquez’s Wife and Muse, Dies at 87

Mercedes Barcha, Gabriel García Márquez’s Wife and Muse, Dies at 87

“Mercedes permeates all my books,” he as soon as mentioned. “There’s traces of her everywhere.”

“He called her the manager of the crisis department,” their son Rodrigo García mentioned, “sometimes without him even knowing what the crisis was.”

Mercedes Barcha Pardo was born on Nov. 6, 1932, in Magangué, Colombia. Her father, Demetrio Barcha, was a pharmacist; her mom, Rachel Pardo, was a homemaker. The oldest of seven youngsters, Mercedes grew up in Sucre and then Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the place her household moved to keep away from the political violence that convulsed the area at midcentury.

There, house on vacation from convent college, she re-met García Márquez, who was writing for an area newspaper. As the story goes, he had already proposed marriage the second he noticed her again in Sucre, when she was 9 and he was 14. From the beginning he discovered her lovely and enigmatic, “with an illusionist’s talent for evading questions,” as he wrote in his 2003 memoir, “Living to Tell the Tale.”

When García Márquez was despatched to Europe as a overseas correspondent, he wrote to Ms. Barcha commonly. After his newspaper was shut down, he discovered himself broke in Paris, residing in a lodge room and engaged on a manuscript. Her photograph on the wall and a crimson Olivetti typewriter had been amongst his solely belongings.

Upon his return to South America in 1957, he paid Ms. Barcha 500 pesos (the equal of about $130, or about $1,200 immediately) to return his letters — she wouldn’t give them up with out a prize — and promptly destroyed them. “He was years away from being famous,” Rodrigo García mentioned, “but he was always very particular about their lives being private. He didn’t want the paper trail.”

The two married in 1958. On the day of the marriage, Ms. Barcha waited to placed on her wedding ceremony costume till he had pushed up. “It’s not that she doubted him,” Mr. García mentioned, “but she had the superstition and the pragmatism of people from a certain world that said, ‘There’s a one-in-a-million chance that a bridegroom might not appear for his wedding.’ So it was just in case.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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