Garcia Marquez still writing, still grumpy

Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez attends a closed ceremony of the 30th Havana Film Festival at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana December 12, 2008. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the octogenarian titan of Colombian literature, is still writing and may publish again, the author told a Colombian newspaper.

“I don’t do anything but write,” the novelist who penned “One Hundred Years of Solitude” told leading daily El Tiempo.

The newspaper on Sunday cited reports in the international media that questioned whether the inventor of the “magical realism” style of storytelling had any more books left in him. But when the author answered the phone call from El Tiempo, he said: “Call me later. I’m busy writing.”

With the typical grumpiness which he has been known to treat reporters in recent years, Garcia Marquez finally agreed to answer two questions from the newspaper.

“My job is to write, not to publish,” said Garcia Marquez, 82, a native of Aracataca on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. “I’ll know when the pastries that I have in the oven are ready for the eating.”

Before winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982, the man Colombians know affectionately as “Gabo” was banned from the United States for a decade after setting up the New York branch of Communist Cuba’s official press agency and being accused of funding leftist guerrillas at home.

His most recent book, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” was published in 2004 by Random House. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Doina Chiacu)