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Mario Vargas Llosa

Peruvian-Spanish writer, politician, and journalist regarded as one of Latin America’s most prominent novelists

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Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian-Spanish writer, politician, journalist, an essayist. Regarded as one of Latin America’s most prominent novelists and one of the leading authors of his generation, Vargas Llosa received the ;Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 for his “cartography of structures of power and his trenchantimages of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” He has written more than 30 novels, plays, and essays, and his works have been translated into more than 40 different languages. Vargas Llosa also led the Movimiento Libertad party in Peru and ran in the presidential elections in 1990. Vargas Llosa withdrew from a military academy in Lima at a young age to work as a journalist for a local newspaper. He then enrolled in the National University of San Marcos and studied law and literature. Vargas Llosa published his first book, “The City and the Dogs” in 1963. His novel “Conversation in the Cathedral,” published in 1969, was critical of the dictatorship of Manuel Odría in Peru and detailed how the government controlled the lives of citizens. His fourth novel, “The War of the End of the World,” published in 1981, is a historical novel about the War of Canudos in Brazil. Nearly 20 years later, Vargas Llosa published another major work, “The Feast of the Goat,” a story based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic that explores themes of authoritarianism and the individual. Initially a supporter of the government of Fidel Castro and a student of Marxism, Vargas Llosa wrote to Castro to protest the imprisonment of Cuban poet Heberto Padilla in 1971. Vargas Llosa then became an outspoken critic of both left-wing and right-wing authoritarian regimes. In 1987, he helped form and led the Movimiento Libertad in Peru. He ran for president in 1990, but was eventually defeated by Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori assumed power, disbanded congress, and ruled Peru asa dictator for ten years. Fujimori was later overthrown and tried for crimes against humanity. Since 1990, Vargas Llosa has published a column in the Spanish daily ;El País. He also continues to teach courses at universities, writes literary essays, and has even acted in theatrical performances. He has received numerous awards and accolades,including the 1986 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, the 1994 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the 2006 Maria Moors Cabot Prize, and the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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