Gabriel García Márquez

Colombian Novelist

The eldest of sixteen children, Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1928. Following his graduation from the University of Bogota, he worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York, as well as a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador. One Hundred Years of Solitude, his most well-known piece, won the Pulitzer Prize.

Life Facts

  • Gabriel García Márquez was born on the 6th of March, 1927.
  • Gabriel García Márquez died on the 17th of April, 2014.
  • He was born in Aracataca, Colombia
  • He was married to Mercedes Barcha, with whom he had three children.
  • He was a political socialist.

Interesting Facts

  • Gabriel García Márquez was friends with the then-Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
  • He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
  • He was a pioneer in the genre of magical realism.
  • He is one of the most popular Latin American authors of all time

Famous Books by Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez was a politically conscious writer who used his works to critique society, politics, and prevailing perceptions of his country, Colombia. He frequently employed magical realism to question the commonly accepted aspects of popular culture. Here are some of his notable works.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is Márquez’s bestselling book. Published in 1967, it chronicles the life of the Buendía family over several generations. Readers learn about the seven generations of the cursed lineage as they live, love, and pass away in their town through a sequence of flashbacks, scenes, and backstory.
    One of the most famous opening lines in modern literature is said by Colonel Aureliano Buendía when he recalls “that distant afternoon when his father went him to discover ice” just before being executed. It garnered much critical acclaim, bagging numerous literary awards, including the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • ‘Love In The Time of Cholera’ is a 1985 novel, which explores themes of love, aging, and death. It is set in a South American community that has experienced wars and cholera outbreaks between the late 1870s and the early 1930s. It tells the story of two lovers, Florentino Ariza, an artist, and Fermina Daza, an heiress, who reconcile after a lifetime apart. Fermina marries Dr. Juvenal Urbino and continues with her life as her emotions transition from adolescence to adulthood. The former lovers are given another chance after Dr. Urbino’s passing. The intricate story combines past and present-day happenings to portray the three main characters at various stages of their lives and to illuminate the nuances of love.
  • ‘Autumn of the Patriarch’ is a 1975 book that explores themes of pride, authority, paranoia, and the way poverty and hopelessness lead to the rise of dictators. The Autumn of the Patriarch was wildly popular upon its release and is considered one of the best modern works on oppressive governments and the way they hold power.

Early Life

On March 6, 1927, Gabriel Garcia Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia, and spent his first eight years of life there. The town of Aracataca served as the inspiration for Macondo since “everyone knew everybody else.” On the bank of a river, where “pure water raced over a bed of polished stones as big and white as primordial eggs,” the settlement was established. One Hundred Years of Solitude’s setting and events were inspired by those recollections.

He went back to the village as an adult with his mother to sell his grandparents’ home. His mother showed him the square where, in 1928, the army slaughtered an “undetermined” number of banana workers as they rode the train. On this journey, nostalgia “caught [him] by surprise,” being influenced by everything. Returning to Aracataca had a significant impact on García Márquez’s literary life, according to him. During the trip, he not only received his mother’s support for his writing endeavors but at the age of 22, he also observed the hamlet as if “all I saw had already been written,” and his only task was to sit down and transcribe it.

Literary Career

After publishing political critique in the middle of the 1950s, Garcia Márquez’s journalism career drove him from Colombia to Paris and then, through the early 1960s, to New York. His perspective on politics in Latin America was impacted by this psychological and geographic separation from the turmoil in his native country. García Márquez viewed his work as a means of fostering “a Latin American identity” by bringing attention to Latin American culture in opposition to elitism and imperialist influences in Latin America.

Despite having previously written two novels, one novella, and a few short tales, García Márquez had not written for five years before starting the manuscript for One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1965 at the age of 38. The volumes, which were published in May 1967, were gone within a week. Since then, the book has sold more than 50 million copies after being reprinted and translated into numerous languages. García Márquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 and kept writing.

Literature by Gabriel García Márquez

Explore literature by Gabriel García Márquez below, created by the team at Book Analysis.