Nobel prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died.
Penguin, Marquez's publisher in the UK, said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of the 87-year-old.
The author’s death was announced on Thursday 17th April by Fernanda Familiar, a spokeswoman for his family, on Twitter. She wrote: “Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died", adding: “Mercedes (his wife) and her sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo, have authorised me to provide the information. Such deep sadness.”
The cause of his death is unknown but, according to the BBC, he was recently hospitalised for a lung and urinary tract infection and was said to be “very fragile” after being sent home last week.
Garcia Marquez was a novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, who is considered a pioneer of the magical realism genre. He is best known for his 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, published by Penguin in the UK, which has sold more than 30m copies worldwide. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
Marquez's other works include his 1985 novel Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin) and his most recently published work was the novella Memories of my Melancholy Whores (Penguin) in 2004.
Following the announcement of his death, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos paid tribute to the author on Twitter, writing: "One Hundred Years of Solitude and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time." US President Barack Obama also tweeted that the world had "lost one of its greatest visionary writers - and one of my favourites from the time I was young", while English novelist and screenwriter Ian McEwan wrote: "He really was a one-off”.
Garcia Marquez was cremated in a private family ceremony in Mexico City, where he lived for more than 30 years. Public commemorations have been held in Mexico and Colombia, with the presidents of both countries attending a formal ceremony in Mexico City.
Venetia Butterfield, publishing director of Viking said today: "Penguin has been the proud publisher of Gabriel Garcia Marquez for 23 years. Marquez is one of the best loved writers in the world today and has been hugely influential to readers and writers around the world. We are deeply saddened by his death but know that he will continue to be read for generations to come."