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Nobel Prize in Literature Winner 2010

The winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature is Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.

Mario Vargas Llosa was born on March 28, 1936 in Arequipa, Peru to Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and Dora Llosa Ureta. After his parents divorced, he grew up with his mother and grandfather in the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia. The family moved to Piura, Peru in 1946 where his grandfather held an appointment as a civil servant. His parents were reunited in 1947 and settled in Lima. Mario Vargas Llosa went to a Catholic school in Lima. Later his father sent him to the military school, Leoncio Prado. After graduating from Colegio Nacional San Miguel in Piura, Mario Vargas Llosa studied law and literature in Lima and Madrid. In 1955, he married Julia Urquidi. In 1959, he moved to Paris where he worked as a language teacher and as a journalist for Agence-France-Presse and the national television service of France. As an author, he had an international breakthrough with the novel La ciudad y los perros (1963; The Time of the Hero, 1966). This novel, which builds on experiences from Leoncio Prado, was considered controversial in his home land. A thousand copies were burnt publicly by officers from Leoncio Prado. In 1964 Mario Vargas Llosa divorced Julia Urquidi. The following year, he married his cousin, Patricia Llosa. After having lived alternately in Paris, Lima, London and Barcelona, he returned to Lima in 1974. In 1975 he was elected to the Peruvian Academy. He has lectured and taught at a number of universities in the USA, South America and Europe. In 1990 he ran for the Presidency representing the FREDEMO alliance in Peru, but lost the election. In 1994 he was elected to the Spanish Academy, where he took his seat in 1996. In recent years he has lived in Barcelona, Madrid, Lima, Paris and London. His well known works include Conversación en la catedral (1969; Conversation in the Cathedral, 1975), La guerra del fin del mundo (1981; The War of the End of the World, 1984) and La fiesta del chivo (2000; The Feast of the Goat, 2001). He is also a noted journalist and essayist. (Source :

After the announcement of Mario Vargas Llosa’s award, Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, told senior editor Simon Frantz that Mario Vargas Llosa is “one of the great Latin American storytellers – a master of dialogue who has been searching for the elusive concept known as the total novel, and who believes in the power of fiction to improve the world”.

You can see Mario Vargas Llosa’s full bibliography here. And click here for a Guardian article.
Here’s the Guardian’s Five Essential Novels

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