Compiled by Mahdin Mahboob
Gabriel García Márquez born on 6th March 1927 in Magdalena, Colombia is one of the most popular Spanish authors of all times. His second novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), is the best-selling of all books originally written in the Spanish language (36 million copies sold as of July 2007). Widely credited with introducing the global public to magical realism, he has secured both significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success. Many people hold that García Márquez ranks alongside his co-writers of the Latin American Boom, Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortázar as one of the world's greatest 20th-century authors.
García Márquez began his career as a reporter and editor for regional newspapers El Heraldo in Barranquilla and El Universal in Cartagena. It was during this time that he became an active member of the informal group of writers and journalists known as the Barranquilla Group, an association that provided great motivation and inspiration for his literary career. García Márquez then worked as a foreign correspondent in Caracas, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, India, and New York City.
García Márquez's first major work was The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (Relato de un náufrago), which he wrote as a newspaper series in 1955. The book told the true story of a shipwreck by exposing the fact that the existence of contraband aboard a Colombian Navy vessel had contributed to the tragedy due to overweight. This resulted in public controversy, as it discredited the official account of the events, which had blamed a storm for the shipwreck and glorified the surviving sailor. This led to the beginning of his foreign correspondence, as García Márquez became a sort of persona non grata to the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. The series was later published in 1970 and taken by many to have been written as a novel.
Several of his works have been classified as both fiction and non-fiction, notably Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Crónica de una muerte anunciada) (1981), which tells the tale of a revenge killing recorded in the newspapers, and Love in the Time of Cholera (El amor en los tiempos del cólera) (1985), which is loosely based on the story of his parents' courtship. Many of his works, including those two, take place in the "García Márquez universe," in which characters, places, and events reappear from book to book. The works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez often cross genres and most integrate at least a few elements of magical realism. Furthermore, many of his novels and short stories integrate actual history as well as complete fabrication, making his genres sometimes difficult to pin down.
His most commercially successful novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) (1967; English translation by Gregory Rabassa 1970), has sold more than 36 million copies worldwide. It chronicles several generations of the Buendía family who live in a fictional South American village called Macondo. García Márquez won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize in 1972 for One Hundred Years of Solitude. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, with his short stories and novels cited as the basis for the award.
García Márquez is noted for his friendship with Cuban president Fidel Castro and has previously expressed sympathy for some Latin American revolutionary groups, especially during the 1960s and 1970s. He has also been critical of the political situation in Colombia.
Source : Wikipedia
(R) thedailystar.net 2007