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Tuesday Siesta

Gabriel García Márquez
(b. 1928)

Gabriel García Márquez was born in the small Colombian town of Aracataca, some fifty miles from the Caribbean. Raised for the most part by his maternal grandparents, García Márquez was educated at a local Montessori school and at secondary schools in Barranquilla and Zipaquirá. In 1947, he entered the National University in Bogatá to study law (and published his first short story), only to see the university closed by civil war the following year. While continuing his legal studies at the university in Cartagena, García Márquez began to write articles for El Universal, a newly established daily newspaper, and soon found himself caught up in a journalistic career that took him as a political observer to Rome, Paris, the Soviet Union, London, Caracas, and Cuba, where from 1959 to 1961 he worked for the official Cuban news agency. These various experiences served to deepen his political insights and to reinforce his commitment to social and political change.

In 1961, García Márquez moved briefly to New York and from there to Mexico City where he wrote screenplays, edited two magazines, and worked for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. During these years he also actively pursued his literary interests, but it was not until 1967 and the publication of his epic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude that García Márquez's talent as one of the foremost living Latin American writers became widely recognized. (That novel, which tells of the historic rise and fall of the Buendia family and their imaginary town Macondo, has since sold more that 5 million copies and been translated into thirty-two languages.) His reputation and stature have continued to grow, culminating in 1982 with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy, in making the award, cited García Márquez "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."

With his stories, Gabriel García Márquez has created a world of his own that is his microcosmos. In its tumultuous, bewildering yet graphically convincing authenticity it reflects a continent and its human riches and poverty. Among García Márquez's published works — which have now sold more copies than any other contemporary Spanish-language author — are the novels Withering Leaves (1955), No One Writes to the Colonel (1961), In Evil Hour (1962), One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981), Love in a Time of Cholera (1988), The General in His Labyrinth (1990), and Of Love and Other Demons (1995); several collections of short stories including Big Mama's Funeral (1962), The Incredible and Sad Story of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother (1972), Collected Stories (1984), and Strange Pilgrims (1993); and such volumes of journalism as The Story of a Castaway (1970) and When I Was Happy and Undocumented (1973). His most recent novel is Living to Tell the Tale (2003). García Márquez currently lives in exile in Mexico because his support of socialist causes has made him unwelcome in his native Colombia.

Author Links

Gabriel García Márquez Biography
This site features a biographical essay with bibliographical information

The Modern Word's Gabriel García Márquez
This site is thorough and with a broad scope. It includes biography, criticism, bibliography, and many links.

Marquez’ Nobel Prize Speech
Pen American Center hosts this recording of Giaconda Belli reading Marquez’s Nobel Prize lecture during a 2006 meeting of the Bowery Poetry Club.

Gabriel García Márquez and History
This site features the essay "Gabriel García Márquez and His Approach to History in One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Maria R. Estorino.

"Tuesday Siesta"


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