Mario Vargas Llosa


Mario Vargas Llosa

© The Nobel Foundation. Photo: U. Montan

Mario Vargas Llosa
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

Born: 28 March 1936, Arequipa, Peru

Prize motivation: “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat”

Prize share: 1/1


Mario Vargas Llosa was born into a middle-class family in Arequipa, Peru. His parents divorced when he was young, and Vargas Llosa grew up with his mother and maternal grandparents in Bolivia, where his grandfather worked as a consular officer. Vargas Llosa developed an interest in poetry at an early age, which was a source of worry for his father, who enrolled him in a military academy. Nevertheless, he followed his literary instincts and became a writer. Vargas Llosa was also politically active and ran as a candidate in the Peruvian presidential election of 1990. Nowadays he spends most of his time in Madrid, but also lives in Peru. Vargas Llosa is married with three children.


In the 1960s, Latin American literature experienced rapid development that has come to be called El Boom. Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa was at the heart of this explosion. Vargas Llosa's extensive, rich authorship consists mostly of novels, but also of plays, essays, literary criticisms, and journalism. His works reflect his ardent love of storytelling. They are characterized by rich language and cover a range of genres—from autobiographical books and historical novels to erotic fiction and thrillers.

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