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Gabriel Jose García Márquez: 1928—: Author, Journalist

Won Nobel Prize

In 1982 García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. The Swedish Academy, in bestowing the prize, cited not only the author's narrative gifts but also his demonstrated commitment to social justice. Indeed, the problems of poverty and oppression were the theme of the laureate's acceptance speech. Citing figures that documented thousands of violent deaths and millions of involuntary exiles linked to the political turmoil in Latin America during the 1970s, García Márquez commented that the reality of his native continent nourished in him an "insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty," and made it necessary for Latin Americans to "ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable." Implying that Latin America's cultural remoteness has made it difficult for European and North American countries to sympathize with the leftist political agendas of many of its inhabitants, he went on to ask "Why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our difficult attempts at social change?"

Criticizing wealthy countries that have "accumulated powers of destruction such as to annihilate, a hundred times over, not only all the human beings that have existed to this day, but also the totality of all living beings that have ever drawn breath on this planet of misfortune," García Márquez ended on a note of hope: "We, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of … a new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth."

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyGabriel Jose García Márquez: 1928—: Author, Journalist Biography - A Childhood Steeped In Myth, Success As A Journalist, Wrote Critically Acclaimed Novel, Won Nobel Prize