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. Antonio

    Mario Vargas Llosa is a pride for Peru. He deserves it. We all Peruvians are very proud of you, Mario!

    October 7, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • frank

      he is a Spanish citizen too!
      as you noticed cnn did not give this news front page status....anything spanish is 3rd worls for anglos

      October 8, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • benjammin

      Chavz is an idiot with little time left; I seriouslly doubt, that he can concentrate enough to read a book w/o pictures

      October 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      Salvo en la Argentina no hay lectores en letrina america, por eso venden mas ejemplares de las obras de Vargas en los EEUU que en sudamerica.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel Andara

    Congratulations to him. I can't wait to see Hugo Chavez's reaction.Surely he will say something silly as usual.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kazuo izumikawa


    October 7, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Graciela Pacagnini

    Long time overdue! a gifted writer, very prolific. I have been waiting for this to happen a long time.
    Well deserved prize. Congratulations Mario!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • AthensGuy

      absolutely. Llosa is a great writer and an icon of world literature. He exemplifies the beauty of Latin American writings.

      October 9, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ben

    I am glad to hear of the recipient of this year's award. Now if CNN will only get somebody, ANYBODy on their editorial staff to get a clue and figure out that this author, when referred to by last name, is Vargas Llosa, not simply Llosa, Come on! Doesn't somebody at CNN know this?

    October 7, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodrigo

      I agree with Ben. I cannot believe that CNN has such a poor editorial staff and knowledge about Vargas Llosa. It is a shame. It is also a shame the very poor article and space that CNN has dedicated to this great master of Literature.

      October 7, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Typical name construction in America where in a three pieces name the Second name is thought as the Middle name and the third is the Paternal last name. This not only show their ignorance about the author, but also about Latin american cultures. The middle name is rarely used. Instead, the second piece is the PATERNAL last name and the Third piece is the MATERNAL last name. SO much for an organization that carries a news web site in Spanish.

      October 7, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Cristina

      I was about to write the same Ben, it's Vargas Llosa...not Llosa!

      October 7, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Agreed

      Seriously, wake up CNN! Isn't there someone around to correct the man's name?

      October 7, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim, Los Alamos, NM

      It looks like they fixed it. The article now says Vargas Llosa everywhere as far as I saw.

      October 7, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. pablo i altieri


    October 7, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Buster Bloodvessel

    It should have gone to Jim Woodring.

    October 7, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. WEB

    How about a picture?–Isn't that why this is written in HTML?

    October 7, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. gus

    Congrats...glad to see him being recognized for his fine work...so much talent in south american lit, its amazing

    October 7, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. RBC

    Felicitaciones Mario! It was about time that they honor your excellent skills. Gracias Mario por tu contribucion al Peru y a las letras!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |

    CONGRATULATIONS MVL!! Long overdue. Peru is proud of you today!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Domingo Peron

    The reporter should know that the last name is Vargas Llosa and not Llosa. Please CNN hire someone who know something about the subject!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. Miguel E. Marquez V.

    Congratulations to Vargas LLosa and to all Peruvians. I just want to see what Hugo Chavez is going to say. According to this clown, Mr. Vargas Llosa is an ignorant. I would like an ignorant like Vargas Llosa as president of Venezuela.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jake

    At least the New York Times and Wall Street Journal got the name right.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Carla

    Congratulations!!!!! Come on CNN!! correct your typos and make this a headline!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
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