Author, Journalist, Filmmaker, Dreamer (1927–2014)
Writer Gabriel García Márquez, author of One Hundred Years Of Solitude, has gained worldwide readership with his brand of magical realism.
Born in Aracataca, Colombia, writer Gabriel García Márquez grew up listening to family tales, eventually becoming a journalist. His fiction work introduced readers to magical realism, which combines more conventional storytelling with vivid fantasy. His novels Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) have drawn worldwide audiences, and he won a Nobel Prize in 1982. García Márquez died on April 17, 2014.
Writer and journalist Gabriel García Márquez was reportedly born on March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, Colombia to Luisa Santiaga Márquez and Gabriel Elijio García. (Birth certificates were not issued in his village at the time of his birth and some sources state his birth year to be 1928.) The eldest of twelve children, the young García Marquez lived with his maternal grandparents listening to numerous family stories, including his grandfather’s military reminiscences, his grandmother’s tales of the fantastic and his parents’ dating adventures. He published his first story while in college and then became a journalist, writing at a time of murderous upheaval in Colombia known as La Violencia.
He pursued his craft experiencing a “bohemian life” as he would recall, voraciously reading a number of international authors and immigrating to Europe during the mid-1950’s after writing an article that stoked the wrath of military dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. García Márquez eventually returned to his home region and worked with publications based in Venezuela and Cuba. The writer wed Mercedes Barcha Pardo in 1958.
Having previously written shorter fiction and screenplays, García Márquez sequestered himself away in his Mexico City home for an extended period of time to complete his novel Cien años de soledad, or One Hundred Years of Solitude, published in 1967. The author drew international acclaim for the work, which ultimately sold tens of millions of copies worldwide. García Márquez is credited with helping introduce an array of readers to magical realism, a genre that combines more conventional storytelling forms with vivid, layered fantasy.
Another one of his novels, El amor en los tiempos del cólera (1985), or Love in the Time of Cholera, drew a large global audience as well. The work was partially based on his parents’ courtship and was adapted into a 2007 film starring Javier Bardem. García Márquez wrote seven novels during his life, with additional titles including El general en su laberinto (1989), aka The General in His Labyrinth, and Del amor y otros demonios (1994), or Of Love and Other Demons.
In his later years, García Márquez explored his own life in his work. His memoir Vivir para contarla (2002), published the next year as Living to Tell the Tale, received warm reviews and accolades from critics and fans. Throughout his career, García Márquez won numerous awards and honors, including the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
The writer had been diagnosed with cancer in the late 1990s and, as reported by his brother, eventually began to suffer from dementia. Gabriel García Marquez died in Mexico City on April 17, 2014 at the age of 87, with the world immediately honoring his immeasurable literary legacy.