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. Katie

    BBC got the name right too: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11493191

    October 7, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      And this ladies and gentlemen is a reflection of what is wrong with the "american" educational system, it even reflects upon CNN and it's not like this is their only error they have absolutely no clue about their neighbors down south. The British and Europeans are so much more cultured and educated than these United Statesmen. idiots

      October 7, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marjorie Henriquez

    CNN, I would like to correct you: Vargas Llosa is NOT the first Latin to win since Octavio Paz in 1980. You forgot Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez won the Nobel in 1982.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Alexandra

      CNN, the news you trust !!! hummmm Vargas Llosa is not the first latino, how about Gabriel Garcia Marquez.... shame on you CNN

      October 7, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dale Turnacliff

    CNN should post his picture too.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. ser

    "The writer, 74, is the first Latino to be awarded the Nobel literature prize since Mexican Octavio Paz won in 1980. Spaniard Camilo Jose Cela had won the previous year."

    Gabriel Garcia-Marquez from Colombia won the Nobel literature prize in 1982.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. SB

    Octavio Paz won the prize in 1990 and not in 1980 as mentioned. Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz won the prize in 1980.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Vanessa

    Congratulations to Mario vargas LLosa; undoubtfully, this award was overdue. I would specifically like to NOT congratulate CNN, as several facts in this article are vastly INCORRECT. Vargas Llosa IS NOT the first Latino to be awarded the award since Octavio Paz in 1980; Gabriel Garcia Marquez won the award in 1982. Furthermore, although Octavio Paz did win it, he won in 1990, NOT 1980 as the article states.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. periffic777

    Congratulations!!! Vargas llosa Peru is very proud of you!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Marjorie Henriquez

    Thanks for the prompt correction!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jay

    If the Spaniard Camilo Jose Cela is considered latino, which I do not disagree with, shouldn't the portuguese Jose Saramago also be considered latino.
    Moreover they should both be considered hispanic, as they are both from Hispania.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jay

    If the Spaniard Camilo Jose Cela is considered latino, which I do not disagree with, shouldn't the portuguese Jose Saramago also be considered latino?
    Moreover they should both be considered hispanic, as they are both from Hispania.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jay

    Congratulations to Vargas Llosa!

    October 7, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patty Letellier

    I am so proud of Mario Vargas Llosa, he is one of the great masters of Literature in our country PERU, I wish CNN and other news will provide more information of him, so any person would realize of his great contribution to the world of Literature.
    It could be reasonable to tell about his life, his most famous books, to know that Mario Vargas Llosa was elected as the recipient of this year's award means that his work is exceptional, please get together to congratulate this amazing Peruvian!

    October 7, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. camarenice

    Hola por lo que entiendo me agrada pero más lo sería si estubiera en español

    October 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • sisinio hernán

      Hola Camarenice, yo tampoco tengo un inglés fluido. Esta es una traducción de El país.com con pocas modificaciones mías.

      Estoy muy orgulloso de Mario Vargas Llosa, es uno de los grandes maestros de la literatura en nuestro país PERÚ, deseo que CNN y otras noticias proporcionen más información de él, por lo que cualquier persona se dará cuenta de su gran contribución al mundo de la literatura. Podría ser razonable contar sobre su vida, sus libros más famosos, para saber que Mario Vargas Llosa fue elegido como el ganador del premio de este año y significa que su trabajo es excepcional, por favor, que reúnanse para felicitar a este increíble peruano!

      October 8, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      ...si estuviera

      October 12, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. hjjeong

    I wish it was given to Ko Eun, a famous Korean poet..any way,congratulations to Vargas Llosa^^

    October 8, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. malgorzata stanek

    I am very happy, Llosa is the great writer, his work is amazing. I read all his books, many of them twice or three times.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
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