Who better to write a story about solitude than García Márquez? He had 11 siblings but was raised an only child by his grandparents. Later, as a journalist with liberal sensibilities, he was self-exiled from his native homeland to escape the oppression of the conservative dictatorships of the time. Certainly, he came to understand only too well the properties of solitude.
In his Nobel Prize speech in 1982, García Márquez said: "Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude."