García Márquez, Gabriel (1928-2014), Colombian novelist and short-story writer, known as one of the masters of magic realism, a style that weaves together realism and fantasy. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
García Márquez was born in Aracataca. He attended the National University of Colombia but did not graduate. Instead, he became a newspaper editor, working in Cartagena in 1946, in Barranquilla from 1948 to 1952, and in Bogotá in 1952. From 1959 to 1961 he worked for the Cuban news agency La Prensa in Colombia; Havana, Cuba; and New York City. García Márquez was a liberal thinker whose left-wing politics angered conservative Colombian dictator Laureano Gómez and his successor, General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. To escape persecution, García Márquez spent the 1960s and 1970s in voluntary exile in Mexico and Spain. In the early 1980s he was formally invited back to Colombia, where he mediated between the Colombian government and leftist rebels.
García Márquez’s best-known novels include El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (1958; No One Writes to the Colonel, 1968), about a retired military hero; Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970), the epic story of a Colombian family, which shows the stylistic influence of American novelist William Faulkner; and El otoño del patriarca (1975; The Autumn of the Patriarch, 1976), concerning political power and corruption. Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981; Chronicle of a Death Foretold, 1983) is the story of murder in a Latin American town. Collected Stories was published in English translation in 1984.
El amor en los tiempos del cólera (1985; Love in the Time of Cholera, 1988) tells a story of romantic love. El general en su laberinto (1989; The General in His Labyrinth, 1990) is a fictional account of the last days of South American revolutionary leader and statesman Simón Bolívar. Del amor y otros demonios (1994; Of Love and Other Demons, 1995) concerns a girl who is believed to be possessed by demons. Noticia de un secuestro (1996; News of a Kidnapping, 1997), a nonfiction work, examines the illegal cocaine industry in Colombia. García Márquez demonstrated his storytelling abilities once again in the first part of a planned three-volume memoir. Episodes from the author’s early life, recounted in Vivir para contarla (2002; Living to Tell the Tale, 2003), recall the magic realism of his fiction.