Celebrated Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez died today at the age of 87 after a recent hospitalization for multiple infections. His death comes two years after it was reported he was suffering from dementia.
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
In his extroadinary lifetime Márquez received widespread acclaim for his novels and short stories, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. One Hundred Years in particular became incredibly popular, selling more than 50 million copies worldwide in over 25 languages. With his works Márquez stood as an ambassador for Latin American literature, and the father of magical realism.
When he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, he dedicated his lecture to the spirit of Latin America, and revealed to the world its inextricable ties to his particular writing style:
We have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.
Márquez is survived by his wife Mercedes and his two sons. He died at home in Mexico City. His memoirs remain unfinished.
Gabriel García Márquez Biography at eNotes
Works of Gabriel García Márquez:
and more found here.
This morning, the Nobel Prize for Literature was announced. The committee has granted the prestigious award to 57-year Chinese author Mo Yan. In its press release, the Nobel Committee says that Mo Yan was selected for his writing that merges “hallucinatory realism (with) folk tales, history and the contemporary.”
The choice, though widely lauded, has its critics as well. Although the subjects Yan typically writes about are “non-political,” the writer has been embraced by the Communist Party, something that gives dissident writers and others pause.
Despite political concerns, few would argue that Mo’s work is not brilliant. His subject matter typically examines rural Chinese life through magical realism. Mo’s penchant for narrators like talking animals and his inclusion of elements from Chinese fairy tales has drawn comparisons of his work to that of Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Perhaps Mr. Mo’s best-known work in the Western world is his novel Red Sorghum. Published in 1986 and translated into English in 1992, Red Sorghum is a bandit-laced tale about the trials of life for rural Chinese. The novel was made into a movie in 1987.
Born in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong in 1955 to farming parents, Mo Yan is the pen name of Guan Moye. Mo was a teenager during the Cultural Revolution. For several years, he took various agricultural jobs and then joined the People’s Liberation Army. His first short story, “Falling Rain on a Spring Night,” was published in 1981. Many more short stories and novels have since been published. His latest, Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out, was written in 2006 and translated into English in 2008.