Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel laureate writer, dies aged 87
UK GUARDIAN, APRIL 17 ---
The Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, who unleashed the worldwide boom in Spanish literature with his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, has died at the age of 87. He had been admitted to hospital in Mexico City on 3 April with pneumonia.
Matching commercial success with critical acclaim, García Márquez became a standard-bearer for Latin American letters, establishing a route for negotiations between guerillas and the Colombian government, building a friendship with Fidel Castro, and maintaining a feud with fellow literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa that lasted more than 30 years.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said via Twitter: "A thousand years of solitude and sadness at the death of the greatest Colombian of all time.
"Solidarity and condolences to his wife and family ... Such giants never die."
Journalists gathered outside García Márquez's house in Mexico City in the hope that one of the family members who was reportedly at his side would emerge.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto expressed sadness at the death of "one of the greatest writers of our time," in the name of Mexico, the novelist's adopted home.
Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda was quoted by the Mexican newspaper Reforma as saying that he was "the most important writer in Spanish of the 20th century", central to the Latin American literary boom that "revolutionised everything: the imagination, the way of telling a story, and the literary universe".
The Colombian singer Shakira wrote: "We will remember your life, dear Gabo, like a unique and unrepeatable gift, and the most original of stories."
US president Barack Obama said the world had lost "one of its greatest visionary writers", adding that he cherished an inscribed copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude, presented to him by the author on a visit to Mexico. "I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come," he said.
GILBAKKA'S COMMENT: I've read five of Marquez's books, all of which impressed me much. Also, I read two books about Marquez. He was a titan among Latin American writers. I salute his memory.