Marquez had chosen not to print the manuscript while he was alive. His family is currently trying to decide whether the novel will be released posthumously.
The manuscript has a working title of We’ll See Each Other in August (En Agosto Nos Vemos).
An excerpt of the manuscript was published in a newspaper in Spain called “La Vanguardia.” It appears they published an opening chapter that describes a trip taken by a 50-ish married woman who visits her mother’s grave on a tropical island every year. In the chapter, she has an affair with a man of about the same age at the hotel where she stays.
The manuscript apparently dates to about the time Marquez was writing his last novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, which was published in 2004, and deals with similar themes of forms of love; Marquez, beset by a failing memory, apparently did not write much in recent years.
A Marquez biographer, Gerald Martin, said the manuscript apparently started as a short story.
“This has come as a surprise to me. The last time I talked to Gabo about this story it was a stand-alone which he was going to include in a book with three similar but independent stories,” Martin said. “Now they’re talking about a series of episodes in which the woman turns up and has a different adventure each year,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Obviously it makes sense and presumably Gabo really did play with it, presumably some years ago.”