Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez hospitalized in Mexico City, health official says

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez has been hospitalized in Mexico City, federal health officials said Thursday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. They declined to specify the cause of his illness, saying Garcia Marquez's family had asked for details to remain private.

The 87-year-old Nobel laureate is by many 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.

His epic, hallucinatory novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" has sold some 50 million copies in more than 25 languages, its 1967 publication a milestone in a two-decade-long Latin American literature boom.

Other contemporary classics by the man with the bushy black eyebrows and white mustache, known to friends simply as "Gabo," include "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," "Love in the Time of Cholera," "The General in His Labyrinth" and "Autumn of the Patriarch."

Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982, and his novels have outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible. With writers including Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, he was also an early practitioner of literary nonfiction that would become known as New Journalism.

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