Colombia honors Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Bogota book fair

Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:20pm EDT
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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia is honoring author Gabriel Garcia Marquez at its largest literary event a year after his death, paying tribute to the Nobel Prize winner known for his fantastical blend of magic and realism.

Bogota's International Book Fair opened its doors on Tuesday with a special commemoration for the Colombian-born writer, who passed away at his home in Mexico City in April last year, aged 87.

Widely-loved works including "One Hundred Years of Solitude" helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 when he was honored for his novels and short stories "in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination."

That book tells the story of the Buendia family in the fictional village of Macondo, which is based on the town of Aracataca close to Colombia's Caribbean coast where Garcia Marquez was born and raised.

Fair organizers have displayed the author's books and pictures and brought the world of Macondo to life in a special exhibit.

"We are all Macondo. Macondo is this country. Macondo is the Caribbean. Macondo is any place on this planet where people identify with the dramas of the people of Macondo," said Piedad Bonnet, organizer of the display.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos helped inaugurate the fair, saying Gabriel Marquez was remembered "with passion and tenderness".

Events run until May 4.

(Reporting By Reuters Television in Bogota; additional repoting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London)

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto (R) stand next to an urn containing the ashes of late Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Henry Romero