The 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa. He is celebrated as a Latin American Renaissance Man with a career that has had more “second acts than Norman Mailer”, according to John Freeman of NPR. He ran for Peru’s presidency in 1990, orchestrated free market principles in Peru’s banking system, initially supported Fidel Castro only to challenge his impact upon Cuba later, and served as the director of International PEN. Today however, he will be remembered for his work as a novelist.
The Swedish Academy cited Vargas Llosa’s long history of works for “his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.” To describe Mario Vargas Llosa’s win as a long-shot is an understatement. Ladbrokes did not list him within the top 15 and gave him 25-1 odds. He elaborated to Spanish National Radio, as reported by Richard Lea in guardian.co.uk , “It had been years since my name was even mentioned. It has certainly been a total surprise, a very pleasant surprise.” As soon as Vargas Llosa hung up the phone, his phone bagan to ring non-stop.
Biblio.com can jumpstart reading of Vargas Llosa’s work, with five selections chosen by Benedicte Page: