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Author Spotlight: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

abstract:Gabriel García Márquez was born on March 6, 1928 in Aracataca, Columbia...


March 01, 2003
— "It was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forevermore, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth." (One Hundred Years of Solitude)


Considered by many to be one of the pioneers of Latin American literature, Gabriel García Márquez has been described as the "master of magic realism".


Although one of eleven siblings, Márquez grew up as an only child in his grandparents' home in Aracataca, Columbia. The oral tradition of myths and superstitions he absorbed from his grandmother, and the landscape of his childhood had a profound influence on him and his writing. (His grandparents' house is the model for the Colonel's house in his first novel, Leaf Storm, and as the Buendía's house in One Hundred Years of Solitude. His grandfather had a silver workshop as does Aureliano Buendía.)


Following college and law studies, Márquez began to write for the Liberal newspaper El Universal. In 1954 he became the European correspondent for the paper and began writing novels. When his newspaper was closed down in 1955 by the dictator Rojas Pinilla, Márquez lived in exile, traveling throughout Europe and the Americas. In 1965 he settled in Mexico and devoted himself full time to his writings.


One Hundred Years of Solitude was published in 1967 to international acclaim and is considered one of the great novels of the twentieth century. Márquez was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts".


Recently, Márquez published the first volumne of his memoirs, Vivir para contarla (Living to Tell the Tale). He has said that this title is a popular Latin American saying that expresses the inseprable link between fiction and reality. In the hands of a master, that link results in magic.


Works of Fiction by Gabriel García Márquez:

Works of Non-Fiction by Gabriel García Márquez:

Films Based on the Works of Gabriel García  Márquez:

Note: Some of these films are not available except through specialty video stores or mail order. For these titles, links are provided to the Internet Movie Database.

  • María de mi corazón (Maria My Dearest, 1979) in Spanish, directed by Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
  • Eréndira (1983)  in Spanish with subtitles, directed by Ruy Guerra
  • Cronaca di una morte annunciata (Chronicle of a Death Foretold, 1987)  in Italian with subtitles, directed by Francesco Rosi and starring Rupert Everett
  • El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel, 1999)  in Spanish with subtitles, directed by Arturo Ripstein and co-starring Salma Hayek
  • Gabriel García Márquez Collection: Letters From The Park, Miracle In Rome, The Summer Of Miss Forbes, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, I'm The One You're Looking For, and The Fable Of The Beautiful Pigeon Fancier. In Spanish with subtitles, 6 tapes (8 hours)

Recommended Resources and Links:


A complete biographical sketch that provides insight on Gabriel García Márquez's life, with information on the history of Colombia and the unusual background of his family.


Nobel Laureate

Gabriel García  Márquez's Nobel Prize lecture, "The Solitude of Latin America".


Politics & Power

From the September 27, 1999  issue of The New Yorker, "The Power of Gabriel García Márquez" by Jon Lee Anderson explores Márquez's relationship with Colombia, politics, and the Colombian newsmagazine Cambio that he purchased. 


Reading Group Guides & Summary Notes

Free reading guides are available from the publisher for Of Love and Other Demons and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Free literature summary notes are available from Pink Monkey for One Hundred Years of Solitude.


Vivir parar contarlar

From the Los Angeles Times, why Márquez's memoir is available only in Spanish in the United States. 


What is Magical Realism?

An overview of the literary mode including its characteristics and themes.

Other BookBuffet Author Spotlights



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