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Press release issued: 10 December 2007

Over 120 staff and students at the University, together with local school children and members of the public, will be celebrating International Human Rights Day today by taking part in a 29-hour readathon of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez.

Why not pop along to a world-exclusive, 29-hour readathon in support of International Human Rights Day?


From 9am this morning [Monday 10 December] until 2pm tomorrow [Tuesday 11 December], over 120 staff and students at the University, together with local school children and members of the public, will be reading One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien aňos de soledad) by Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez in its entirety in the original Spanish.


All staff are welcome to drop by and offer their support at any point during the readathon to G66, 15 Woodland Road (no. 61 on this map). If you can’t come along in person, you can listen live from the comfort of your own desk.


Local pupils from Redland Green School and Cotham School, who have been receiving pronunciation lessons from University of Bristol students, will be participating in the event by a live online link-up, as will supporters of the project in Colombia, who will be coming online in the middle of the night.


This is the first time One Hundred Years of Solitude has ever been read non-stop in Spanish and the event is taking place to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of this landmark book, which has been translated into 26 languages and which has sold over 36 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1967.


It chronicles life in the mythical Latin American town of Macondo over the course of 100 years through the history of the Buendía family. It has been described by the New York Times as ‘the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.’


Dr Matthew Brown, the event organiser, said:


We are organising the event in celebration of the 40th anniversary of this wonderful work of fiction. We believe that bringing people together – schoolchildren, students, university staff and members of the public – to study and enjoy works of literature is part of the mission of the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.’

Further information

Participants in the readathon are encouraged to raise sponsorship for two projects in Colombia: the Corporación Social para la Asesoria y Capacitación Social, a training programme set up by rural community leaders who have been displaced by armed conflict and the Observatorio Social de Empresas Transnacionales, Megaproyectos y Derechos Humanos, an organisation that helps marginal groups participate in development projects.
Please contact Caroline Clancy for further information.
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