Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. Garcia Marquez’ novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to the Latin America ways of living. His novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, established him as a 20th-century literature giant. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since the 17th century’s Miguel de Cervantes, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that led him to be compared to the likes of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.
Other than the Spanish-language version of the Bible, Garcia Marquez’ fictional works, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Autumn of the Patriarch, have outsold everything published in Spanish. The 1967 epic One Hundred Years of Solitude, perhaps his most popular and wide-known novel, sold more than 50 million copies in more than 25 languages. Biographer Gerald Martin told The Associated Press that it was “the first novel in which Latin Americans recognized themselves, that defined them, celebrated their passion, their intensity, their spirituality and superstition, their grand propensity for failure.”
Garcia Marquez accepted the Nobel prize in 1982. He was also an early practitioner of the literary nonfiction that would become known as New Journalism, alongside writers Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe. Also, Garcia Marquez founded the Iberoamerican Foundation for New Journalism in 994, which offers training and competitions to continue raising the bar for narrative and investigative journalism in Latin America.
His death was confirmed by two close family friends who spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect for the family’s privacy.
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