Peruvian author and Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
Latin America: Week in Review, Peru

Peruvian Intellectual Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel Prize

October 8, 2010 By Staff

Peruvian author and Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.

Today in Latin America

Top Story Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday due in part for his writings about political corruption in Latin America.

The 74-year old Llosa received the news early Thursday morning in New York as he was preparing for a class he teaches at Princeton University. He is the first author from a Spanish-speaking country to receive the award since Octavio Paz of Mexico won in 1990.

The Swedish Academy, which awards Nobel Prizes, praised “his cartography of structures of power” and “trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.

Vargas Llosa is best known for his work concerning Latin America’s elite and the inner-workings of power in the region.

“Latin America seemed to be a land where there were only dictators, revolutionaries, catastrophes. Now we know that Latin America can produce also artists, musicians, painters, thinkers and novelists,” he said, according to the New York Times.

Besides his writings, Vargas Llosa also dabbled in politics with a 1990 failed presidential bid in Peru. He ran on a platform of free markets and free trade.

In picking Vargas Llosa the Swedish Academy made another literary choice tinged with politics, except this time from the right instead of the left. Vargas Llosa criticized Latin America’s right-wing dictatorships early in career, but split with the left after Fidel Castro imprisoned the poet Heberto Padilla in 1971.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • A top U.S. senator just back from a five-day visit to Cuba to meet with officials there said he did not believe there was any chance of a prisoner swap between the United States and its communist neighbor.
  • A refugee-advocacy group said Thursday that more than 70 percent of camps in Haiti, home to an estimated 1.3 million earthquake victims, lack proper international management nearly nine months after the disaster, leaving them at increased risk of sexual and gang violence, hunger and forced eviction.
  • Former President Bill Clinton said desperately needed U.S. aid is coming to Haiti despite delays after listening on Wednesday to refugees in a sprawling homeless camp complain of a lack of food, jobs and housing nine months after a devastating earthquake.
  • Tropical Storm Otto has unleashed floods that overturned cars, toppled power lines and washed out roads in the northeastern Caribbean, officials said Thursday, adding that efforts to free a grounded oil tanker have stalled.

Central America


Southern Cone

Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.

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