Gabriel García Márquez’s sons are publishing his final novel, which he wanted 'destroyed'

"Until August" hits shelves on March 12, nearly 10 years after the Nobel Prize winner died.

A final novel from acclaimed author Gabriel García Márquez is set to be published later this month — but its release will be against his wishes.

When the Nobel Prize–winning writer died in 2014, he was in the midst of working on his book Until August. Though he battled dementia in the years before his death, he attempted at least five versions of the story before deciding to terminate the project completely.

“He told me directly that the novel had to be destroyed,” his son Gonzalo García Barcha said in a new interview with The New York Times. But along with his elder brother, Rodrigo García, he resolved to ignore their father’s request and publish his last work.

The novel will tell the intimate tale of Ana Magdalena Bach, a woman in her late 40s who travels to a Caribbean island every August to visit her mother’s grave. Part of her journey toward self-fulfillment, these visits allow her brief liberation from her husband and family, leading her to begin a series of illicit affairs.

<p>Ulf Andersen/Getty Images</p> Gabriel García Márquez

Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Gabriel García Márquez

Márquez, a Colombian-born author and journalist affectionately known as Gabo, is considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century. He published six novels, including the acclaimed classic One Hundred Years of Solitude, and seven nonfiction books, in addition to numerous novellas and short story collections.

Justifying their decision, his sons revealed that Márquez was working intensely on the manuscript for Until August and even sent a draft to his literary agent. It was during his struggle with dementia, while he was suffering from memory loss, that he changed his mind about publishing it.

“Gabo lost the ability to judge the book,” Rodrigo told the Times. “He was no longer able to even follow the plot, probably.” He added that, upon revisiting the novel themselves, they found that “it was much better than we remembered.”

Though worried about being perceived as “greedy,” the brothers argue that the novel will be a valuable addition to their father’s body of work, marking his first novel centered on a female protagonist.

Márquez is not the first author whose work has been published posthumously or against his wishes. While suffering from tuberculosis, Franz Kafka famously asked for his works to be burned, but his executor betrayed the request. Vladimir Nabokov also asked family members to destroy his final novel, The Original of Laura, only for the unfinished text to be released decades after his death.

“When this book is released, we’ll have all of Gabo’s work published,” Márquez's son Gonzalo said. “There is nothing else in the drawer.”

Until August hits shelves on March 12.

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