HAVANA, CUBA: Colombian writer and Nobel Prize for Literature 1982 Gabriel Garcia Marquez attends 05 December, 2006 in Havana the inauguration of the XXVIII New Latin American Cinema festival being held 5-15 December. AFP PHOTO/BALTAZAR MESA (Photo credit should read BALTAZAR MESA/AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
The problem is that the moment you know the interview is being taped, your attitude changes. In my case I immediately take a defensive attitude. As a journalist, I feel that we still haven’t learned how to use a tape recorder to do an interview. The best way, I feel, is to have a long conversation without the journalist taking any notes. Then afterward he should reminisce about the conversation and write it down as an impression of what he felt, not necessarily using the exact words expressed. Another useful method is to take notes and then interpret them with a certain loyalty to the person interviewed. What ticks you off about the tape recording everything is that it is not loyal to the person who is being interviewed, because it even records and remembers when you make an ass of yourself.
Becoming perhaps the region's greatest exponent of "Magical Realism," a genre in which the fantastical seamlessly intertwines with the ordinary, earned García Márquez the praise of his literary peers. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda told Time Magazine that One Hundred Years of Solitude was "the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since the Don Quixote of Cervantes."
He became one of eight Latin Americans to win the Nobel Prize for literature
But it freaked him out. After receiving the call on the night of Oct. 20, 1982, García Márquez was left trembling from head to toe, according to Colombian daily El Tiempo. Alone in the house, he ran over to his friend Alvaro Mutis' house. When Mutis saw the state his friend was in, he assumed he'd had a fight with his wife. "Worse," García Márquez said. "They just gave me a Nobel Prize."
He had an epic feud with fellow Latin American Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa
Despite his criticisms of authoritarianism, the leftwing García Márquez was a personal friend of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and reported for the Cuban government's newswire service Prensa Latina in the 1960s.
He was banned from the United States for decades
The U.S. government refused to grant Gárcía Márquez a visa for more than three decades, according to The New York Times -- likely because of his support of leftwing governments opposed by Washington and his friendship with Fidel Castro. Former President Bill Clinton overturned the restriction in the mid-1990s.
His favorite ice cream flavor was níspero
García Márquez finished out his days residing in Mexico City, but when he'd visit Cartagena in recent years, he liked to eat at a restaurant called Ohlala. For dessert, he'd ask for níspero ice cream -- a local fruit -- from Gelatería Paradiso down the block, according to the store's owner María Nevett (who is, for full disclosure, the mother of HuffPost Latino Voices editor Ana Benedetti).
He was married to the same woman for more than half a century
Colombian Nobel Prize for Literature 1982 Gabriel Garcia Marquez (L), sitting in the carriage alongisde his wife Mercedes Barcha, smiles upon arriving at his hometown Aracataca by train 30 May, 2007. (Getty Images)
Gabriel García Márquez married Mercedes Barcha in 1958.