Gabriel Garcia Marquez
, the Nobel laureate whose novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality, died at home in Mexico City around midday, according to people close to his family. He was 87. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes
in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain
and Charles Dickens
. His flamboyant and melancholy fictional works - among them Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Love in the Time of Cholera
, and Autumn of the Patriarch - outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.