Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez was the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), in addition to many other novels, short stories, and non-fiction works. In 1982 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature 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.” García Márquez, only the fourth of six Latin Americans to be awarded the literature prize since its inception in 1901, lamented: “they have taken into account the literature of the sub-continent and have awarded me as a way of awarding all of this literature.” In his acceptance speech, entitled “The Solitude of Latin America”, García Márquez addressed the postcolonial struggles of Latin American nations, and the willing embrace by European institutions of Latin American cultural expression but not its social realities:
Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason, to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration. However, the navigational advances that have narrowed such distances between our Americas and Europe seem, conversely, to have accentuated our cultural remoteness. Why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our difficult attempts at social change? Why think that the social justice sought by progressive Europeans for their own countries cannot also be a goal for Latin America, with different methods for dissimilar conditions?