Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez passes away at 87

Paula David – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Mexico City, Mexico (4E) – Lauded Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has passed away at 87 on Thursday in a hospital in Mexico, his family confirmed.

His death comes weeks after being hospitalized for an infection and dehydration last March. In 1999, Garcia Marquez was diagnosed of lymphatic cancer, from which he recovered, and with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006.

Jose Gabriel Ortiz, Colombia’s ambassador to Mexico, told CNN on Thursday, “We’re left with the memories and the admiration to all Colombians and also Mexicans because I think Gabo was half Mexican and half Colombian. He’s just as admired in Mexico as he is in (his native) Colombia, all of Latin America and throughout the world.”

“I believe they were somehow emotionally ready for this regrettable outcome,” he continued. “They knew he was suffering from a complex, terminal disease and was an elderly man. I believe (Garcia Marquez’s widow Mercedes Barcha) was getting ready for this moment, although nobody can really prepare themselves for a moment like this.”

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted, “On behalf of Mexico, I express my sorrow at the death of one of the greatest writers of our time: Gabriel García Márquez.”

Popularly and affectionately called “Gabo” in Latin America, Garcia Marquez is well-known for his “magical realism,” employing both fantasy and reality in his works. His most famous novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold over 30 million copies since it was first published in 1967.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda even referred to the novel as “the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since the Don Quixote of Cervantes.”

Through the course of his writing career that spanned over half a century, Garcia Marquez has produced such renowned literary works such as “Leaf Storm,” “The Autumn of the Patriarch,” “Love in the Time of Cholera,” “Of Love and Other Demons,” “No one Writes to the Colonel” and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold.” His last novel, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” was published in 2004.

The Nobel Prize-winning author is survived by his wife and two sons Rodrigo, a television and film director, and Gonzalo, a Mexico City-based graphic designer.

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