Gabriel García Márquez, born Mar. 6, 1928, is a major Colombian novelist and short-story writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. His masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; Eng. trans., 1970), is a family saga that mirrors the history of Colombia. Like many of his works, it is set in the fictional town of Macondo, a place much like García Márquez's native Aracataca. Mixing realism and fantasy, the novel is both the story of the decay of the town and an ironic epic of human experience.
García Márquez began his career as a reporter for El Espectador, for which he wrote (1955) a series of articles exposing the facts behind a Colombian naval disaster. These articles won him fame and were published in book form as Relato de un naufrago (The Account of a Shipwrecked Person, 1970).
García Márquez's novel The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975; Eng. trans., 1976) again explores the theme of decay, this time by depicting with typical exaggeration and ironic humor the barbarism, squalor, and corruption that prevail during the reign of a Latin American military dictator. Other works include three collections of short stories (No One Writes to the Colonel, Eng. trans., 1968; Leaf Storm, Eng. trans., 1972; and Innocent Erendira, Eng. trans., 1978), the novel In Evil Hour (1968; Eng. trans., 1979), the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981; Eng. trans., 1983), and the novel Love in the Time of Cholera (Eng. trans. 1988).