Gabriel Garcia Marquez was more than magical realism: An appreciation

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a charmer.

The great Colombian novelist, who died Thursday, called Mexico City home for much of his life, and it was there that I met him, at a chi-chi Mexican restaurant where he agreed to a sitdown with a half-dozen Times foreign correspondents and editors in 2004.

Behind his thick glasses and looking frail even then, the author treated us as if we were the celebrities at the table. He’d love to visit our newsroom in Los Angeles, he said. But he was afraid that if he entered, “I’d never leave.”

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