Nobel laureate and beloved Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez is suffering from dementia and can no longer write, his brother told students in Cartagena, Colombia.
Jaime García Márquez said his older brother, affectionately known as Gabo, calls him on the telephone to ask basic questions.
“He has problems with his memory. Sometimes I cry because I feel like I’m losing him,” The Guardian reported.
Gabriel García Márquez, whose works of fiction include “Love in the Time of Cholera,” “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. In 1999 he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer and underwent treatment which hastened his memory problems.
“Dementia runs in our family and he’s now suffering the ravages prematurely due to the cancer that put him almost on the verge of death,” his brother said, according to EFE. “Chemotherapy saved his life, but it also destroyed many neurons, many defenses and cells and accelerated the process.”
His brother added he has tried to keep news about Gabo’s health a secret, not because there is anything people should not know “but because it’s his life and he’s always tried to protect it.”
Jaime Abello Banfi, the director of the author’s foundation, the New Journalism Foundation, says he categorically denies the assertion of dementia.
“Please, enough messages of solidarity: Gabo is not insane,” he tweeted. “He’s just an elderly person who has lost a bit of memory. I assert there is no medical diagnosis of senile dementia.”
The renowned literary mind, is perhaps best known for the aforementioned “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which has sold more than 30 million copies, has been translated into more than 30 languages and is considered by many critics to be the greatest of all Latin American works of literature.
Sadly, one of the themes interwoven into the 1967 masterpiece of magic realism is about how the patriarch of the Buendía family becomes increasingly withdrawn from his family and loses touch with them and reality.
Only half of his two-part memoir, “Living to Tell the Tale,” was written.