'Until August': The posthumous novel that defies the wishes of Gabriel García Márquez

On Wednesday, the Spanish version will be released in various countries, and the English version will be released March 20, despite the fact that the Colombian writer's wishes for the book not to be published.

Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez was clear: he did not want "Until August" ("Nos Vemos en Agosto" in Spanish), the last novel he wrote, to be published. However, his children decided to publish it anyway, and it will be released Wednesday. Márquez's children assured that the novel represented an indecipherable challenge for the Colombian Nobel Prize winner near his death.

García Márquez began writing the book about 15 years before he died. It tells the story of Ana Magdalena Bach, a woman who, every August, visits her mother's grave on a Caribbean island. The protagonist takes advantage of the trips to put aside her life of chastity and have erotic encounters with strangers.

As AFP recalls, in 1999, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1982) "publicly read the first chapter, but refrained from publishing the rest of the work, since it did not satisfy him, and he limited himself to giving versions of the manuscript to his relatives."

His children said in a virtual meeting with the press that for Márquez, the novel was meaningless and disordered, so he believed it should be discarded. However, his family claims that the reason he saw it this way was due to the fact that the book was marked by illness and memory loss.

'Much better than we remembered'

According to Gonzalo García, the opinions of academics who read fragments of the work convinced his estate to unify them into a book, which will be released on the day their father would have turned 97.

"When we read the manuscript, we realized that the book was much better than we remembered, then we began to suspect that, just as Gabo lost the ability to write, he also lost the ability to read and, therefore, the ability to judge his own writings," commented Gonzalo García.

Pilar Reyes, editorial director of Penguin Random House, explained that the Spanish version will be released Wednesday in various countries and that the English version will be released March 20.

Finally, his son Rodrigo assured that García Márquez has no more novels locked away, so "Until August" will be the final book in his literary catelogue.