Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas presents “Two gringos with questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. In the eleventh episode, Chris and Ken talk to Silvana Paternostro, prizewinning journalist and writer of Solitude & Company: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez Told with Help from His Friends, Family, Fans, Arguers, Fellow Pranksters, Drunks, and a Few Respectable Souls.
Paternostro is a Colombian-born journalist and senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. She has written extensively on Cuba, Central and South America, specializing in women’s issues. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Daily News, Details, Spin, and The Paris Review. In 1997, she was awarded the Center for Documentary Studies Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize for her journalism on Cuba. In 1999, she was selected by Time/CNN as one of “Fifty Latin American Leaders for the Millennium.” Paternostro was associate producer on Che: The Argentine and Che: Guerrilla, a two part movie based on the life of Che Guevara directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro.
She is the author of In the Land of God and Man: Confronting Our Sexual Culture, which explores gender roles and the effect of government and religion on women’s lives in Latin America; and My Colombian War: A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind, which tells the story of Colombia’s 40-year-old civil war and uncovers the truth about U.S. involvement in the country.
Her latest book, Solitude & Company: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez Told with Help from His Friends, Family, Fans, Arguers, Fellow Pranksters, Drunks, and a Few Respectable Souls, is an oral history of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Paternostro is from the same city where García Márquez and friends gathered, several of whom became characters in his novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” She grew up hearing stories about him and his friends, even attending school with some of their children. Later on in her career, Paternostro would take a three-day journalism workshop led by García Márquez himself.
To discuss her new book, Paternostro talks to Chris and Ken about meeting “Gabo” for the first time, the stories she gathered about his life, and the nickname García Márquez gave her the second he met her.