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.
The world lost two influential literary voices this week. Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing, best known for her novel The Golden Notebook, passed away Sunday at age 94. And Barbara Park, author of the beloved children’s books featuring her irascible character Junie B. Jones, died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Park was 66.
While it may not seem that these two very different authors have a lot in common, what Park and Lessing shared was a love of vocal women as well as sense of appreciation for life and its transient nature. Park captured what few writers for children manage to do successfully: the energy and curiosity of a girl with a questioning mind. For her part, Lessing was always adjusting the lens. As we get older, the clarity of a Junie B. Jones is harder to maintain, but Lessing asks us to remember, and to seek the authentic in an often exhausting world.
I wonder what Junie B. and Lessing might have to say to each other:
It’s Halloween! In honor of the creepiest of holidays, why not contemplate your own mortality? GOOD TIMES!
Here are ten well-written or interesting conceived final goodbyes from folks (or folks who knew them) who have shuffled off this mortal coil.
1. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
[Gravestone in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon]
GOOD FREND FOR IESVS SAKE FORBEARE
TO DIGG THE DVST ENCLOASED HEARE
BLESTE BE Y MAN Y SPARES THES STONES
AND CVRST BE HE THAT MOVES MY BONES
2. Edmund Spenser (1510-1596)
(expecting the second Comminge of our Saviour Christ Jesus)
the body of Edmond Spenser, the Prince of Poets in his time;
whose divine spirit needs no other witness
than the works he left behind him.
“Oh yes!…The sweet summons of God to man. That’s when He calls you up to His arms. And it’s the most beautiful thing, a rebirth, a new life. But, just the same I’m in no rush to find out.” ― Mr. Ives’ Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos
Oscar Hijuelos, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for his novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love , died yesterday of a heart attack while playing tennis, according to his agent, Jennifer Lyons. Hijuleos was 62.
Hijuelos was the first Latino writer to be awarded the coveted prize. The novel traces the journey of two Cuban brothers who leave Havana for a life in New York to pursue a career in music. In 1992, the novel was adapted into a film starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas.
Although the Pulitzer brought the author fame, it also brought hardships. Hijuelos felt labeled as an “ethnic” writer. In an interview on NPR’s Newshour in 2011, Hijuelos discussed his memoir Thoughts Without Cigarettes. He told interviewer Ray Suarez that he
sometimes felt like a freak, simply because the level of my success and traveling around the world as — quote — “a Latino writer” as much as anything, was sort of wonderful and also very strange for me at the same time, because, indeed, I’m — I came up as but one version of many potential versions of Latinos that there could be.
And I have never — as I say in the memoir, I have never intended to represent myself as a spokesman for anybody but myself. And yet I would be in a roundtable in Sweden, in Stockholm, Sweden, at a live television show, and the host would come on and look around trying to figure out who the Latino guy was in the group. That kind of thing was both interesting and alarming at the same time.
Here is the complete interview. Rest in Peace, Mr. Hijuelos.
Fans of espionage and military science novels have lost one of that genres’ most popular authors. Tom Clancy has died at age 66. The cause of death has not yet been released.
Here are some facts about Clancy that you may not know:
- Worked as an insurance salesman after attending Loyola College.
- Tried, but failed, to purchase the Minnesota Vikings.
- Divorced after thirty years following revelations of an affair with a New York Assistant D.A.
- Second wife is the niece of General Colin Powell.
- Although he loved the military, poor eyesight prevented him from enlisting.
- In 1984, President Ronald Reagan boosted sales of Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October, by praising it at a press conference. “It’s a really good yarn,” Reagan said.
- Founded the gaming company Red Storm Entertainment in 1996 and sold it for a reported $45 million
- Was the co-owns the Baltimore Orioles
Tom Clancy was one of the best-selling authors of the last thirty years. In addition to The Hunt for Red October, his other popular works included Patriot Games (1988), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991).
Nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney, “The most important Irish poet since Yeats,” passed away in Dublin early this morning. He was 74.
In the short time since his death, tributes have poured in from all over the globe. But all eyes are on the people of Ireland, whose loss of a national treasure is deeply felt. President Michael D. Higgins, himself a published poet, has spoken of Heaney, “the presence of Seamus was a warm one, full of humour, care and courtesy – a courtesy that enabled him to carry with such wry Northern Irish dignity so many well-deserved honours.” It is that Irish dignity that Higgins credits with boosting national confidence after the economic downturn the nation suffered in 2010.
He carried with him an Irish legacy, born of rural county Derry, that will live on in poems like “Digging” and “Field Work.” Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke for all of his country when he said the death of Heaney was a “great sorrow to Ireland… “For us, Seamus Heaney was the keeper of language, our codes, our essence as a people.”
Listen to Heaney’s 1995 Nobel lecture below:
Under my window, a clean rasping soundWhen the spade sinks into gravelly ground:My father, digging. I look down…Between my finger and my thumbThe squat pen rests.I’ll dig with it.