Legendary author Gabriel García Márquez passed away today in Mexico City, where he'd been recovering from infections since April 8. The Nobel Prize-winning author was considered the father of magical realism, and he never shied away from confronting the injustices of Latin American politics. García Márquez will be remembered for his unique ability to blur the lines between fiction and reality; as both a journalist and a writer of novels, he frequently reminded us that the two forms are more similar than we'd want to think.
The Magic of Gabriel García Márquez
García Márquez spent the first eight years of his life under the guardianship of his maternal grandparents. It was their stories that fueled his imagination and influenced his work later in life. His grandmother, a talented storyteller, regaled young García Márquez with folktales featuring ghosts and the supernatural. He based his novel, Of Love and Other Demons,on one of her stories. Read More>>
The Political and Familial Influences of García Márquez
In order to understand García Márquez's themes and perspective, it's important to know a bit of Colombian history. The country was colonized in the sixteenth century, and it took over one hundred years for Colombia to gain independence. In 1820, Simón Bolívar liberated the country, and by 1849 the government had more or less organized itself into a two-party system. Read More>>
Tidbits about a Beloved Latin American Author
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.There's much more you probaby didn't know about this Nobel laureate's career! Read More>>
From Around The Web
- García Márquez sat down for an interview with the Paris Review after he'd shifted gears from fiction writing back to jourmalism. "I've always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist," he said, noting that the resources, language, and materials are the same for both journalism and novels.
- The New York Times explores the famous feud between García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, which began when Vargas Llosa punched García Márquez outside a theatre. Though there were witnesses to the confrontation, photographic evidence didn't emerge until 2007, 31 years after it occurred. The authors never reconciled.
- "Surrealism comes from the reality of Latin America," García Márquez said in a 1973 interview with The Atlantic. The interview began with García Márquez's (false) claim that he spoke no English. He shares the origins of magical realism and the burden of "persecution" from journalists and editors that comes with literary acclaim.
- "I was aware that García Márquez had a habit of making things up during his interviews. He liked to give each journalist a gift, something original, so they didn't go away with the same old stuff," said Katie Davis of her experience interviewing Gabo for NPR.
- In News of a Kidnapping, García Márquez exposes the dirty underworld of drug trafficking in Colombia. He says of Pablo Escobar, ""The most unsettling and dangerous aspect of his personality was his total inability to distinguish between good and evil." The work embroiled García Márquez in a new, and dangerous, political conflict. Jon Lee Anderson delves into the author's great political power.