I've been thinking about Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez quite a bit since hearing about his passing on April 17th.
My first exposure to Márquez's work was when I read his short story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." It's a beautiful story about religion, greed, and humanity (or lack thereof). The story establishes a wonderful social commentary while also utilizing one key element: magical realism. Márquez often utilized magical realism which meant his stories contained magical elements but these components were treated as normal parts of the world we live in. He is not alone in this genre (Rudolfo Anaya is another great author who utilizes this), but his work is eye opening for those willing to take the time to experience it. As a writer of fantasy, exploring magical realism is an interesting and educational way to look at utilizing fantastical elements within a story.
With his passing, Márquez leaves behind many famous novels such as "Love in the Time of Cholera," and "One Hundred Years of Solitude." Unfortunately, as time fills up with other things, we don't always sit down and spend the time enjoying great literature. It's sad that only when someone has passed on that we consider reading their work. Well, maybe it's more bittersweet than sad; his passing is a reminder that his legacy remains, that his books are still here to show us interesting ways to explore magic in our lives and our own stories.
If you've got 15 minutes that you can dedicate to reading something by this wonderful author, perhaps a way to commemorate the man, check out his short story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" at the link below: