September 19, 2014
García Márquez hospitalized in Mexico City
Nobel Prize laureate responds well to treatment, authorities say
Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez has been hospitalized in Mexico City since March 31 for dehydration and a lung and urinary infection but has responded well to treatment, Mexico’s Health Ministry said yesterday. The Colombian writer’s discharge from hospital will be evaluated once he completes treatment with antibiotics, the ministry said in a release.
Speaking outside the hospital, his son Gonzalo García said the author was never under emergency care, and is with family.
The 87-year-old Nobel laureate, whose career has spanned journalism to fantastical novels that defined the genre of magical realism, is by some accounts the Spanish language’s most popular writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century. The extraordinary literary celebrity he attained in life drew comparisons with Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. He has lived in Mexico City for more than 30 years.
Mexican journalist and author Elena Poniatowska told reporters that she had been informed of her friend’s hospitalization, but that she had not been given more details. She added that García Márquez had come to visit her at her house in November to congratulate her on the receipt of the Cervantes Prize. “He looked well,” she said. A smiling “Gabo,” wearing a gray suit and light blue shirt, made a public appearance early last month to celebrate his birthday and listened to a crowd sing Mañanitas (the traditional Mexican birthday song) while holding a bouquet of yellow roses.
The author, who was accompanied by his secretary and a friend of the family, did not make any statements but greeted the journalists and photographers and applauded them when they finished singing. His secretary also handed out paper butterflies — also yellow, the author’s favourite colour — to the journalists and a female autograph seeker.
García Márquez, who arrived in Mexico in 1961, currently lives in the capital’s upscale Jardines del Pedregal neighborhood with his wife, Mercedes Barcha, and occasionally attends cultural and social events.
In 2009, García Márquez’s agent said it was unlikely that Gabo would publish a new work within his lifetime. The Guardian reported in 2012 that his younger brother told students in Cartagena, Colombia that his sibling had been “suffering the ravages” of dementia, which he said he believed had been accelerated by treatment Gabo had received for lymphatic cancer. The author’s last novel, Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores, was published in Spanish in 2004 and in an English translation a year later.
Herald with agencies, online media