Jorge Luis Borges, known as Georgie to his friends, married Elsa Astete Millán in 1967. Borges was sixty-eight years old at the time of the wedding; Elsa, a widow, with a son in his twenties, was eleven years younger.
It proved to be a tempestuous and eventful marriage that would leave an indelible mark on the remainder of Borges’ life, but their relationship has been largely glossed over by previous biographers. This is because the one person who knew all the details has refused to speak about it.
Norman Thomas di Giovanni worked with Borges in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Buenos Aires from late 1967 to 1972 and thereafter sporadically until Borges’s death in 1986. During their first period together di Giovanni spent more time with the couple than did almost anyone else. He was privy to the private side of their relationship and to its sudden decline. It was di Giovanni who helped the demoralized Borges by organizing and arranging his divorce and at the same time rescuing his library and smuggling him out of Buenos Aires to avoid the wrath of Elsa and her lawyers.
The book is based on the author’s extensive collection of original material in the form of diaries, notebooks, letters, manuscripts, and photographs, most of which has never before been seen. It provides a unique insight into one of the few true geniuses of literature.