Mario Vargas Llosa Nobel Prize Winner In Literature : The Two-Way Llosa's first book was burned by the military. He has been a public intellectual for years, running for President of Peru in 1990 on a ticket opposing nationalizing the banking system.

Mario Vargas Llosa Nobel Prize Winner In Literature

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

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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.