Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa

Today, it was announced that the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Arequipa-born writer, who once ran for President in Peru but lost the elections in 1990, is one of the most acclaimed writers in the Spanish-speaking world, a man of letters who also braved the violence and political divisions of Peru and had to courage the enter the political arena in a time that assassinations, kidnappings and disappearances were not uncommon. Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other South American writer. Many of Vargas Llosa's stories are influenced by the writer's perception of society in Peru and his own experiences as a native Peruvian.

Years ago, I must have been in the summer of 2006, I read one of his best known books, The Feast of the Goat, and enjoyed every page of it. The book is set in the Dominican Republic and portrays the assassination of the Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, and its aftermath, from two distinct points of view: during and immediately after the assassination itself, in May 1961; and thirty years later, in 1996.

In my opinion, the Nobel Committee made a fantastic choice, and Vargas Llosa is one the most admirable Peruvians ever lived.

Picture: San Francisco Chronicle, copyrights apply