We're mourning the loss of preeminent Latin American voice and Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, who passed this Thursday at age 87. Ilan Stavans, our publisher and a García Márquez scholar, was interviewed by NPR's "All Things Considered" on the author's life and legacy.
"One Hundred Years of Solitude is a towering book of enormous influence worldwide. And it is also as close as one could get to a perfect book," says Ilan Stavans, who wrote a biography of the author's early years, including the time García Márquez spent as a newspaper journalist.
"He was a nobody," Stavans says. "He was really an unknown journalist and author of short stories, just beginning to make his career. He was, at that point, coming close to 40, and the fame and celebrity and this standing that he has as a literary giant of the 20th century really all coalesced in that particular moment when the book was published."
And in The New Republic, Stavans says that "all books in the Spanish language" are "mere footnotes" to Don Quixote and One Hundred Years of Solitude:
"The saga of the Buendía family contains, in its dense, baroque pages, the DNA of Latin America."
Read his full essay here.