The world lost a literary giant Thursday as Columbian-born Gabriel García Márquez, possibly the greatest Latin American author who ever lived, died at the age of 87.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, García Márquez was considered by many to be the creator of the genre known as “Magical Realism,” though he never made any claim as such. His One Hundred Years of Solitude, first published in 1967, is one of my favorite books ever and was described by novelist William Kennedy in a 1970 National Observer review as:
…the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.
The Magical Realism of Solitude combines facets of Latin American history and mythology, taking the reader on a veritable out-of-body experience in which dreams and ghosts come to life, inanimate objects become holy relics, and the impossible seems practically mundane. He created living, breathing entities through his writing. Love in the Time of Cholera was another popular García Márquez novel and The General in His Labyrinth is also one of my favorites.
I consider him to be one of my heroes, the kind of man you regret never having met face to face. RIP.