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Peru's Vargas Llosa wins Nobel literature prize

media Mario Vargas Llosa Reuters

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel prize for literature. In a career that began in the 1950s Vargas Llosa has published 17 books of fiction and ten of non-fiction, as well as writing three plays.


The Swedish Academy praised his “cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat”.

His novels include comedies, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers. Several, such as Captain Pantoja and the Special Service and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, have been turned into films.

Vargas Llosa was born in 1936 in Arequipa in Peru and spent his childhood in Cochabamba in Bolivia and Piura in northern Peru.

His first novel La ciudad y los perros (The Time of the Hero) was inspired by his unhappy experiences at the military academy in Lima, where he was enrolled at the age of 14.

He was briefly a member of the Communist Party’s student wing, before resigning over the party’s line on culture.

He initially supported the Cuban revolution but shifted to the right, standing for Peru’s presidency in 1990 as the candidate of the Frente Democrático (Fredemo) coalition, advocating neoliberal reforms.



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