Today is the 85th birthday of legendary author Gabriel García Márquez. The Nobel laureate began his writing career as a journalist but established himself as one of the most important authors of the twentieth century. Heres a look at a few facts you probably didnt know about Gabriel García Márquez.
- His mother and father's courtship inspired Love in the Time of Cholera. His father wooed his mother ardently over the objections of her father, who eventually relented and gave the couple his blessing.
- García Márquez's grandfather was a Liberal, a war hero, and an incredible storyteller. He would tell young Gabriel stories of civil war, political upheaval, and revolution rather than fairy tales.
- Meanwhile, his grandmother filled his head with stories of magic, omens, and superstitions. It was in her stories that García Márquez found the roots of magical realism.
- García Márquez began his education in law at the University of Cartagena. He soon began writing for the local newspaper and eventually left his studies to pursue journalism.
- García Márquez sparked national furor with his 1955 The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, which upended the governments official story that a storm had caused a tragic shipwreck. The story first appeared in installments in El Espectador, but was published as a book in 1970.
- It took seven years for García Márquez to find a publisher for his first book, Leaf Storm. He has said that this is his favorite of his novels because its the most spontaneous and sincere.
- To support his family during the composition of One Hundred Years of Solitude, García Márquez sold his car. But the novel took much longer than expected, so the family lived on credit and owed the landlord nine months rent by the time the book was finished.
- García Márquez calls Autumn of the Patriarch a poem on the solitude of power. He was moved to write it after watching Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménezthe first dictator in Latin America to fall.
- Though he resolved not to publish again until after Pinochet lost power in Chile, García Márquez finally published Chronicle of a Death Foretold before Pinochet was ousted because he could not remain silent in the face of injustice and oppression.
García Márquez will undoubtedly continue to influence and inspire people in all walks of life, all over the world.