On April 17, 2014, Nobel laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez died at his home in Mexico City. He was 87 years old. Born in Colombia and known to millions simply as “Gabo”, Garcia Marquez was regarded as the most popular Spanish writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century. His works outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.
Starting as a journalist, Garcia Marquez authored many non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967); The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1975); and “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985). His works popularized a style labeled as “magic realism,” which uses magic elements in otherwise realistic situations. When he received the Nobel Prize in 1982, he attributed his creativity to being born in a region “full of sorrow and beauty.”
Garcia Marquez befriended Cuba’s revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, and remained loyal to him even after other intellectuals became disenchanted with the revolution. In his 1992 memoir, “Before Night Falls,” Cuban writer, Reinaldo Arenas, condemned the relationship between Garcia Marquez and Castro. And Susan Sontag accused Garcia Marquez in 2005 of complicity by association in Cuba’s human rights violations.
Despite my regard for his novels, one of my favorite works is his short story, “The Old Man with Enormous Wings,” in which “solitude,” a theme that appears throughout his works, adds realism to a magic event.
Do you have a favorite Garcia Marquez’s work?
What do you think of his relationship with Castro?