Nobel writer Garcia Marquez hospitalized in Mexico

Nobel writer Garcia Marquez hospitalized in Mexico

MEXICO CITY - Colombia's Nobel-winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the 87-year-old author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," was being treated in a Mexico City hospital on Thursday for a bronchial infection, his son said.

Gonzalo Garcia Barcha said his father was doing "very well and progressing very well" since being taken to the capital's National Medical Science and Nutrition Institute in the south of the capital on Monday.

"He had a small infection a few days ago and we preferred to take him to the hospital because he is older," Garcia Barcha told reporters.

"It was never an emergency," he said, adding that his father was conscious and treated with antibiotics.

The author, who made Mexico City his home more than three decades ago, could be released from the hospital early next week.

Garcia Barcha denied reports that his father had pneumonia.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he was informed about the hospitalization, writing on Twitter: "I wish him a speedy recovery." Garcia Marquez made his last public appearance on March 6 when he came out of this house to greet journalists who visited him for his 87th birthday.

The author smiled, accepted gifts and posed for photographs, but he did not speak to reporters.

Magical realism

Winner of the 1982 Nobel literature prize, Garcia Marquez pioneered the story-telling style known as magical realism, writing epic stories of love, family and dictatorship in Latin America.

Known affectionately as "Gabo," the author of "Love in the Time of Cholera" became the most read Latin American author in the world and the godfather of a literary movement in a continent in turmoil.

Garcia Marquez was born on March 6, 1927, in the village of Aracataca on Colombia's Caribbean coast. His father was a telegraph operator.

He was raised by his grandparents and aunts in a tropical culture with a heritage coloured by a mix of Spanish settlers, indigenous populations and black slaves.

His homeland's exotism inspired him to write a slew of short stories and novels, including "One Hundred Years of Solitude," which was translated into 35 languages and sold more than 30 million copies.

The book, published in 1967, is a historical and literary saga about a family from the imaginary Caribbean village of Macondo between the 19th and 20th century.

The novel turned the man with the mustache and thick eyebrows into an international star.

His passion for writing began in the early 1960s, when he moved to Mexico with his longtime partner and mother of his two children, Mercedes Barcha, after meeting his good friend and Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes.

The Nobel committee awarded him the 1982 prize "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." Garcia Marquez studied law but then turned to journalism.

An admirer of Cuba's revolution, he forged a controversial friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

His other books include "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" written in 1982 and his 1998 autobiography "Living to Tell the Tale." Diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1999, Garcia Marquez has made fewer public appearances in recent years.

His last novel to date is "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," published in 2004.

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