Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel Literature Prize

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel Literature Prize


Byline: Karl Ritter and Malin Rising Associated Press

STOCKHOLM -- Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday as the academy honored one of the Spanish-speaking world's most acclaimed authors and an outspoken political activist who once ran for president in his tumultuous homeland.

Vargas Llosa, 74, has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including "Conversation in the Cathedral" and "The Green House." In 1995, he won the Cervantes Prize, the most distinguished literary honor in Spanish.

He is the first South American winner of the prestigious $1.5 million Nobel literature prize since Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez won in 1982 and the first Spanish-language writer to win since Mexico's Octavio Paz in 1990.

"I am very grateful to the Swedish Academy. It is totally unexpected, a real surprise," Vargas Llosa told reporters in New York. "I think it is, for any writer, a great encouragement, a recognition of a world."

The Swedish Academy said it honored him for mapping the "structures of power and (for) his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat." Its permanent secretary, Peter Englund, called him "a divinely gifted storyteller" whose writing touched the reader.

"His books are often very complex in composition, having different perspectives, different voices and different time places," Englund said. "He is also doing it in a new way, he has helped evolve the art of the narration."

Peru's president, Alan Garcia, praised Vargas Llosa for his "eminent intelligence" and "libertarian and democratic spirit."

"(This award is) an enormous act of justice that in truth we have been waiting for since our youth," Garcia said. …

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