How would Jefferson Long Soldier, the returning Iraq War veteran and central character of Sarah Stark’s novel Out There (Leaf Storm Press), have taken last week’s news of the passing of Gabriel García Márquez? Márquez is Long Soldier’s savior and the object of his motorcycle pilgrimage from Santa Fe to Mexico City. He carries Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude with him wherever he goes and believes “every single word” in it has saved his life. He chants lines from the book to steady and place himself. When people ask him about his Iraq experience, he replies, “You cannot understand where I have been.” He also carries a list of the deaths he’s experienced and a need to tell someone his story. With the help of a “pseudo-doctor,” it’s decided that Márquez is that person. What follows is a glowing road-trip of magical realism. Stark shows love for the revered writer in both knowledge of his work and reflection of his style. She reads from Out There at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 25, at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., 505-988-4226).
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