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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Garcia Marquez book 'pirated'
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Nobel prize-winner's novels are always much anticipated
Dozens of pirate copies of the new book by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez are being sold in Bogota before the novel's release, publishers say.

A spokesman for the publishing house said the work is being traded in Colombia's capital for as little as $4.

Illegal traders must have got hold of the proofs, Moises Melo added.

Observers say the Nobel-prize winner's new book has sparked even more interest than usual because of its title, Memories of My Melancholy Whores.

The novel tells the story of an old man who remembers all the women in his life while making love for the last time.

The book is being offered to passers-by in broad daylight without any intervention from authorities, Mr Melo told the Efe news agency.

The novel's official release date was set for the end of the month, but it could be moved forward to confront the problem, the agency reported.

Mr Garcia Marquez's novels are always much anticipated in Latin America.

The Colombian author won the Nobel Literature prize in 1982.

Book piracy is common in Colombia, where many best-sellers are illegally copied and sold on the street.

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