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Gabriel García Márquez

García Márquez, Gabriel (gäbrēĕlˈ gärsēˈä märˈkās) [key], 1928–, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, b. Aracataca. Widely considered the greatest living Latin American master of narrative, García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He began his literary career while a law student in Barranquilla, publishing stories in local magazines. He left Colombia in the late 1950s and has since lived in many places, later in life mainly in Mexico City. 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 work focuses on the physical and moral travail of coastal Colombia, which is given universal meaning in his books.

His two masterpieces One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967, tr. 1970), his best-known work, and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985, tr. 1988), present his central themes of violence, solitude, 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 other works 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 of a projected three-volume autobiography.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Latin American Literature: Biographies


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