October 7th, 2010
07:27 AM ET

Peruvian wins Nobel for literature

Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.

Vargas Llosa won the prize "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat," the academy said.

"I am very grateful to have received this privilege," Vargas Llosa told CNN en Espanol.

"The truth is I did not expect it," he said in the televised interview. "It was a surprise ... but a pleasant surprise."

Vargas Llosa felt "very moved and enthused" by the prize, said Andina, the official Peruvian news agency, citing Peter Englund, president of the Nobel literature prize jury.

Vargas Llosa is in the United States, teaching two courses at Princeton University.

"He had gotten up at 5 a.m. to prepare for a class when he received our call at quarter to seven, while he was working intensively," Englund told Andina.

Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists. He rose to prominence in the 1960s. Some of his best known novels include "The Green House" and "The War of the End of the World."

The writer, 74, is the first Latino to be awarded the Nobel literature prize since Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez won in 1982. Mexican author Octavio Paz won in 1980 and Spaniard Camilo Jose Cela won the previous year.

Vargas Llosa has led a varied life as a writer, politician and intellectual. He ran for president of Peru in 1990, winning the first round of votes but losing to Alberto Fujimori in a run-off.

Vargas Llosa holds dual Peruvian and Spanish citizenship, having obtained the Spanish status in March 1993.

Vargas Llosa's award follows the announcements this week of the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry. The Nobel Peace laureate is expected to be announced Friday while the prize in economics will be announced Monday.

Last year's literature prize was awarded to Romanian-born Herta Mueller, who now lives in Germany. She was awarded for work that "depicts the landscape of the dispossessed," after years of persecution by the secret police for refusing to spy for her country and speaking out about oppression.

Vargas Llosa said he will accept the prize at the December 10 ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Filed under: Nobel • Peru • Sweden • World
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. John

    Congratulations!, Mario Vargas llosa, as Peruvian im very proud of him and my Peruvian heritage. For those that dont that are trying to figure it out the first Latin American to win the Novel Prize in Literature is the Chilenian Gabriela Mistral in 1945.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. frank

    latino?....is he italian or french? he is hispanic or iberianAmerican
    nationality he is peruvian and spaniard by choice

    October 8, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ramachandra Wani

    I congratulate Mario Vargas Llosa for his win over all the world of literature. His writings are to be published by ELBS & distributed it amongst the authors. In India, there is a lot of literature is studied in Adhyatma. I welcome decosion of Nobel prize committee for showing pity for the Latin Americans. All of the literature of the world should be studied as a compulsory subject on higher level.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      We welcome decosion, too.

      October 12, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alejandro L

    I dont question that Vargas Llosa is one of the greatest Latin American writters.
    What I do question is the momentum of the Nobel Prize.
    It wasnt in his mind that he would win Nobel prize because lately he hasnt done anything important in the Latin American Literature. What he did was question and critic Chavez in the last election refering to the Manual del Perfecto Idiota.
    Thats how our greast minds are being bought by giving the Prizes that they dont deserve in the moment. Defend the rich and the powerfull and you will have your Nobel Prize.

    Yo no cuestiono que Vargas Llosa sea un gran escritor latinoamericano.
    Lo que si cuestiono es el momentum del Premio Nobel.
    Ni el pesaba que estuviera elegido por que en los ultimos no ha hecho nada importante en la literatura. Lo que si hiso fue cuestionar a Chavez en las ultimas elecciones refiriendose el manual del perfecto idiota. Asi es como se venden las grandes mentes. Ahora que si apoya al capitalismo y la esclavitud disfrasada, se merece el Premio Novel. Pero cuando era un critico No.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      El libro es "Manual del perfecto idiota latinoamericano." Debe ser lectura obligatoria para todo latinoamericano.

      October 12, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. OKY16

    Viva Mario "Carajo", we much proud of you. Congrat's ever!!!

    October 8, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Federico

    congratulations Mario! and all Latin America

    October 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Maria Gellis

    Soy peruana y vivo en los Estados Unidos desde hace 25 anos. Realmente es un orgullo recibir noticias tan extraordinarias de alguno de mis compatriotas. Ademas, tuve el placer de compartir este gran triunfo con mis estudiantes en mi clase de espanol en la escuela secundaria en donde trabajo.Arriba Mario Vargas Llosa! Arriba la literatura espanola!

    October 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. manny


    October 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gauchotramp

    !Felicitaciones don Mario! My politics and Vargas Llosa's are opposite one another and still I chose him for my doctoral exam's major figure in all the way back in 1989. I always knew this day would come based on his sheer talent on the page. The Spanish world is proud of you today, Mario Vargas Llosa!

    October 9, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. benjammin

    Congratulations to CNN for fixing the discrepancies pointed out by the readers

    October 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marco

    Mario Vargas Llosa is a pride for Peru and for the National University of San Marcos, where he studied!

    Mario Vargas Llosa es un orgullo para el Peru y para la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, donde el estudio!

    As a San Marcos student, I am proud of him!

    October 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
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