Who Wrote ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’?

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One Hundred Years of Solitude is coming to Netflix this year. The 16-episode series, shot entirely in Spanish and on location in Colombia, is based on the iconic novel by Nobel Prize-winning writer Gabriel García Marquéz. But who was García Marquéz and why is he such an important figure in Latin American Literature?

Gabriel García Marquéz, commonly known as “Gabo” was a Colombian journalist, novelist, and short story writer. Widely considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century, he would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. To this date, he is the most-translated Spanish language author in history, overtaking Don Quixote writer Cervantes in 2023.

His most famous work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, sold over fifty million copies, was translated into over 40 languages, and is now set to be adapted into a series by Netflix. Some of his other well-known works are Love in the Time of Cholera, No One Writes to the Colonel, The Autumn of the Patriarch, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, though he wrote numerous novels and short stories, all in Spanish. 

García Marquéz also wrote non-fiction books, including an autobiography titled Living to Tell the Tale. The book was supposed to be the first part of a planned autobiographic trilogy, but the author passed away before the trilogy could be completed.

One of García Marquéz’s most important legacies as a writer is popularizing the literary style known as magical realism, which combines the mystical with the ordinary in a world that considers the magical elements commonplace. The style was very present for years in the literature of Latin America, and many of the region’s most famous works during the past few decades, including another soon-to-be Netflix adaptation, Pedro Páramo, are considered magical realism.

García Marquéz passed away in 2014. Upon his death, Juan Manuel Santos, then president of Colombia, called him “the greatest Colombian who ever lived.