García Márquez, Gabriel

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

García Márquez, Gabriel

Gabriel García Márquez (gäbrēĕl´ gärsē´ä mär´kās), 1927–2014, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, b. Aracataca. Widely considered one of the great Latin American masters of narrative and one of the finest literary stylists of the 20th cent., García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. Drawing on his own history and that of his family, town, and nation and reflecting the influence of writers such as Jorges Luis Borges, Miguel Angel Asturias, and Alejo Carpentier, his fiction focuses on the physical and moral travail of coastal Colombia, which is given universal meaning in his books. He began his literary career while a law student in Barranquilla, earning a sparse living writing for local newspapers while also publishing stories in local magazines. He left Colombia in the late 1950s and subsequently lived in many places, from 1961 on mainly in Mexico City.

His two masterpieces One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967, tr. 1970), his best-known work and the one that vaulted him to international fame, and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985, tr. 1988), present his central themes of violence, solitude, time, memory, and the overwhelming human need for love. García Márquez's style marks a high point in Latin American magic realism; it is rich and lucid, mixing reality and fantasy. Among his 15 other works of fiction are Leaf Storm and Other Stories (1955, tr. 1972), No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories (1958, tr. 1968), Innocent Erendira and Other Stories (1972, tr. 1978), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975, tr. 1976), The General in His Labyrinth (1989, tr. 1990), Of Love and Other Demons (1994, tr. 1995), and Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004, tr. 2005). His nonfiction work News of a Kidnapping (1996, tr. 1997) chronicles drug-related abductions in Colombia. Living to Tell the Tale (2002, tr. 2003) is the first volume of a projected three-volume autobiography that García Márquez did not complete.

See P. A. Mendoza, The Fragrance of Guava: Conversations with Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1982); biography by G. Martin (2009); I. Stavans, Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years (2010); studies by G. R. McMurray, ed. (1987), B. McGuirle and R. A. Cardwell, ed. (1987), J. Ortega, ed. (1988), K. McNerney (1989), M. Wood (1990), H. Oberhelman (1991), M. Bell (1993), R. Fiddian, ed. (1995), J. Mellen (2000), C. Kline (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (rev. ed. 2007), and P. Swanson, ed. (2010).

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