The literary world is mourning the passing of legendary Latin American novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez today. He was 87. From AP: Garcia Marquez’s magical realist novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America’s passion, superstition, violence and inequality. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.
His flamboyant and melancholy works outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible. The epic 1967 novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude sold more than 50 million copies in more than 25 languages.
From USA Today:
Professors call Garcia Marquez’s style “magic realism” — employing magic and fantasy in what are otherwise realistic situations. But in 1988, he told The New York Times that his style varied: “In every book I try to make a different path…One doesn’t choose the style. You can investigate and try to discover what the best style would be for a theme. But the style is determined by the subject, by the mood of the times.”
But he also said, “In Mexico surrealism runs through the streets.”
In 1999, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, but after treatment in Los Angeles, it went into remission. He was prompted to begin writing his memoir and told a newspaper in Colombia, “I reduced relations with my friends to a minimum, disconnected the telephone, canceled the trips and all sorts of current and future plans…and locked myself in to write every day without interruption.” Living to Tell the Tale was published in 2002.
He’s survived by his wife, Mercedes Barcha, and two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.