Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez (6 March (1927), Aracataca, Colombia17 April (2014), Mexico City, Mexico), known affectionately as Gabo, was the greatest Colombian writer, an icon of south-America literature and a world classic for his so-called magical realism[1]:

"in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts" (Nobel prize nomination).

Fp.laussy.jpg His masterpiece Cien años de soledad describes an epic dynastic tale of the Buendía family whose lives ricochet off the generations. I was reading it when the Author passed away [2][3], my second work after Crónica de una muerte anunciada, which I read in Colombia after we bought the book in a library of Bogotá. It is not an easy piece in its original version due to the exacerbated style of this poetical realism that mixes ethereal scenes with down-to-earth graphic descriptions, for seven generations of characters with all essentially the same name.

In the Paris Review's highly regarded "Writers at Work" series, García Márquez, interviewed by Peter H. Stone, gives a very interesting interview that reveals much of his character [2] In particular, one learns that he regards himself as a journalist.

On my reading list

Elena had read most of García Márquez well before I met her, and recommended many of the books (not particularly Crónica de una muerte anunciada, which is the one I chose to start with). Titles she strongly recommends are:

  • El amor en los tiempos del cólera
  • El coronel no tiene quien le escriba
  • Memoria de mis putas tristes

Other works of exceptional interest:

  • El otoño del patriarca — A "poem on the solitude of power" according to the author, the novel is a flowing tract on the life of an eternal dictator. The book is divided into six sections, each retelling the same story of the infinite power held by the archetypical Caribbean tyrant. [4]
  • Noticia de un secuestro — On something very real in Colombia.

I'd also want to find the shipwreck story he wrote as a journalist:[2]

The sailor would just tell me his adventures and I would rewrite them trying to use his own words and in the first person, as if he were the one who was writing. When the work was published as a serial in a newspaper, one part each day for two weeks, it was signed by the sailor, not by me. It wasn’t until twenty years later that it was re-published and people found out I had written it. No editor realized that it was good until after I had written One Hundred Years of Solitude.


  1. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1982 on
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Paris Review, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Ar of Fiction No. 69 [1].