Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza was born in Tunja, Colombia in 1932. A journalist and writer, he studied political science at the Sorbonne in Paris. He was the first secretary of the embassy of Colombia in France and while living abroad wrote for several international publications. In 1979, he won the Premio de Novela Plaza y Janés for his book, Years of Flight (1979). Upon his return to Columbia, he wrote for the newspaper, El Tiempo, made the television program Personajes and won, with his sisters, the Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar. Other works include First Words, and The Deserter (1974), The Scent of the Guava Tree: conversations with Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1982), The Flame and the Ice (1984) and Our Painters in Paris (1990).