Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87

Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:38pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Anahi Rama

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. He was 87.

A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Garcia Marquez died at his home in Mexico City. He had returned home from hospital last week after a bout of pneumonia.

Known affectionately to friends and fans as "Gabo," Garcia Marquez was Latin America's best-known and most beloved author and his books have sold in the tens of millions.

Although he produced stories, essays and several short novels such as "Leaf Storm" and "No One Writes to the Colonel" in the 1950s and early 1960s, he struggled for years to find his voice as a novelist.

But he then found it in dramatic fashion with "One Hundred Years of Solitude," an instant success on publication in 1967 that was dubbed "Latin America's Don Quixote" by late Mexican author Carlos Fuentes.

It tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family in the fictional village of Macondo, based on the languid town of Aracataca close to Colombia's Caribbean coast where Garcia Marquez was born on March 6, 1927, and raised by his maternal grandparents.

In the novel, Garcia Marquez combines miraculous and supernatural events with the details of everyday life and the political realities of Latin America. The characters are visited by ghosts, a plague of insomnia envelops Macondo, a child is born with a pig's tail and a priest levitates above the ground.   Continued...

Colombian Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez stands outside his house on his 87th birthday in Mexico City in this March 6, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/Files