Mario Vargas Llosa Nobel Prize Winner In Literature

Literaturnobelpreis fuer Mario Vargas Llosa

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa speaks during the presentation of his most recent book "La Libertad y la Vida" or "The Freedom and The Life" at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, Friday, Dec 4, 2009. Carlos Jasso/AP/dapd hide caption

toggle caption Carlos Jasso/AP/dapd

The more I find out about Mario Vargas Llosa, the more impressed I am. NPR's Zoe Chace filed this on him.

Mario Vargas Llosa wrote poems when he was young. His father famously responded by sending the boy to military school— where he spent two ghastly years, gathering inspiration for his first novel— La Ciudad y Los Perros, published in English as The Time of the Hero. The military burned a thousand copies of the book and Vargas Llosa's infamy was secured.

He's been a public intellectual ever since. Politically, Vargas Llosa was all over the map— though he supported the Cuban revolution in the sixities, he found himself running for president in 1990— as a leader of a coalition opposed to Peru's plan to nationalize the banking system. Back then, his opponents tried to use his works to defame the would-be president.

If it turns out this guy is a professional race car driver in his spare time, my masculinity will diminish even further.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from