Some of the best short stories of Gabriel García Márquez are found in the collection Big Mama's Funeral, first published in 1962 in Mexico. Several have been judged the most perfect examples of the genre ever written in Latin America. Most of them were written during the difficult late 1950s when García Márquez was living frugally in Europe and Venezuela. He submitted one of the stories, "Tuesday Siesta" ("La siesta del Martes"), to a short story context sponsored by the Caracas newspaper El Nacional, but it failed to receive even an honorable mention. Several years later his close friend Alvaro Mutis sent him a note from a Mexican prison where he was serving time, asking for something to read. García Márquez sent him the manuscript of eight short stories, and Mutis in turn lent them to the budding young Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska, who misplaced them. When they subsequently were found, Mutis was able to have them published by the University of Veracruz Press under the general title of the longest story, "Big Mama's Funeral." García Márquez received an advance of a thousand pesos, about a hundred dollars at the time, but the volume attracted little attention until after the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967.
García Márquez considers "Tuesday Siesta" his best short story. It was inspired by the childhood memory of a woman and her daughter, both dressed in black with a black umbrella
"It was almost two. At that hour, weighted down by drowsiness, the town was taking a siesta."