Friday, April 18, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez and the Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor.

The death of Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez at the age of 87 has reminded me of one of my favorite books of the sea. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor written in 1955 as a series of newspaper articles by  Márquez about a twenty year old Colombian Navy Sailor named Luis Alejandro Velasco. He and seven other sailors were washed overboard along with some cargo on their severely overloaded ship. The search for the sailors was called off after four days. Velasco was lucky enough to find a raft and was the only one who survived having washed up on shore after ten days at sea.  Márquez spent twenty six hour days interviewing Velasco about his ordeal. Taking copious notes and asking trick questions to expose any contradictions in the sailors account. It was so detailed that it still makes an impression on me today and I think about it every time I hear about a rescue at sea. I recommend it.

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