... intimate, endearing ... García’s notes, acutely observational, are simultaneously infused with love, respect and the pain of loss ... García frets about crossing lines that might leave his parents helplessly exposed. Still, from his dying father’s bedside in Mexico City to his last moment with his mother (shared digitally, as COVID-19 prevented him from traveling), García is a guardian of their dignity ... Yet this memoir’s details are indeed intimate ... Fittingly, García begins each chapter with an excerpt from one of his father’s works, and it’s this connection between life and art that holds this intense memoir together.
... poignant ... Garcia, a television and film director, provides an intimate portrait of his father as he has never been portrayed: forgetful, frustrated, despondent. García Márquez’s despair is agonizing to witness ... Garcia’s account is honest — perhaps to a fault, given the strict division his parents imposed between their public and private lives ... is in large part carried by anecdotes about García Márquez’s life, but it is most telling when Garcia is prompted to reflect on his own, and reckon with his insecurities. Over the course of writing the memoir, he becomes aware that the wall his parents constructed around their private lives also extended, in part, to him.
Don’t expect a tell-all confessional that breaks with every family principle of discretion. Garcia told his father’s biographer that he imagined their tight-knit clan as 'a wheel with four spokes.' Charming and tender but elusive, A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes proves that wheel remains something of a closed circle ... If his son’s fragmentary portrait of Gabo himself breaks little new ground, Mercedes does emerge at intervals from behind the mask of brisk, steely competence you find in other accounts ... strikes its note of sadness not thanks to any deathbed dramatics—Gabo passes quietly and calmly. Rather, Mr. Garcia’s matter-of-fact scrutiny of the hard work of dying allows the weight of loss to accumulate almost unseen until it drops like a boulder on survivors ... moves and touches when it tiptoes gently from public into private life to show us the familiar closing of this unique partnership. As for the secret life, that resides elsewhere—secure in his father’s incomparable art.
... an intimate and surprisingly relatable chronicle of grief and acceptance, albeit one that also offers a glimpse into one of the most famous literary figures of all time. Though the book is hardly a tell-all, it does offer some intriguing tidbits ... As its title suggests, the book is a tribute not only to Gabo but also to Mercedes, his wife, who died in August 2020. At the loss of his parents, Rodrigo expresses some remorse: 'I didn’t know them well enough, and I certainly regret that I didn’t ask more about the fine print of their lives, their most private thoughts'. And yet Farewell reveals that perhaps he knew them better than he realized — and now we do, too.
When the child of a globally recognized literary giant publishes a memoir, the pressure of inevitable comparison must be immense. And yet Garcia, the son of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, has chosen to focus on the waning years of his parents’ lives, when the immediate glare of the spotlights had long passed ... The result is an intensely personal reflection on his father’s legacy and his family bonds, tender in its treatment and stirring in its brevity. Composed in short chapters of concise, honest prose, Garcia’s book pulls back the curtain to provide a view denied to journalists, photographers, and even the doctors and nurses who crowded his father’s hospital quarters, eager to get a peek at the dying star ... An intimate portrait of immense loss.
... spare, affecting ... By keeping a tight focus on his father’s difficult death, played out in weeks, the author expands our sense of marriage, warts and all, as well as the complicated parent-child relationship and the layered calling of the artist ... His tone is intimate, confidential, tender. There’s a dreamlike quality, too, as he weaves in Polaroid-like glimpses of his father ... a gentle ironic humor also suffuses the book ... evokes how our parents linger, ghostly[.]
García captures this singular aspect of his father’s death in a quiet stream of revelations ... García manages to balance the vast scope of the loss of the writer with the achingly intimate particulars of the death of a father, which, though they may differ in detail, are nevertheless recognizable to anyone who has lost a loved one. García weaves the details of his own story into a constantly fluctuating chiaroscuro of the banal and the profound ... He also offers personal glimpses of his father in his earlier days that will delight even those readers already familiar with the writer’s biographies ... Alongside these gems, he also gives heartbreaking insight into García Márquez’s struggle with dementia.
In a slender, affectionate memoir, film director and screenwriter Garcia pays tribute to his father, Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), and his mother, Mercedes Barcha, who died in 2020 ... His son sensitively completes the story, and he includes family photos. A warm homage filled with both fond and painful memories.
Throughout, flashes of Garcia Marquez’s personality and earthy sense of humor pierce through ... Garcia’s limpid prose gazes calmly at death, registering pain but not being overcome by it, as he documents his mother’s matter-of-fact pragmatism and the deep emotion hidden beneath it ... The result is a moving eulogy that will captivate fans of the literary lion.