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Nobel Prize-Winning Peruvian Author Mario Vargas Llosa – Full Biography!
Peruvian-born Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Literature Prize
1936: Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa was born on March 28, 1936 in Arequipa (Arequipa, Peru), the son of Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and the former Dora Llosa Ureta. They were divorced before Mario was born. Subsequently, despite Dora Llosa’s opposition, Mario became a writer.
1946: He and his family moved to Cochabamba (Bolivia), where he learned to read. Subsequently, Mario grew up in Piura and Lima, Peru’s capital.
1950: The young Mario was sent to the Leoncio Prado Military Academy (Colegio Leoncio Prado), an elite boys’ school at Lima.
1952: Inspired by William Faulkner and Gustave Flaubert, Vargas Llosa became a novelist as he, not yet 20, published his first book “La Huida” (The Escape) in Piura (northern Peru). Decades later, he said, “Literature was an escape, a way of justifying my life, compensating for everything that saddened and disgusted me…The road to (literature) has always led through that type of experience-of alienation”.
1957: He went to Paris (France), where worked as a teacher and journalist. Certainly Peru could not offer much to a man who wanted to live as a writer.
1959: In Spain, Vargas Llosa began to make a name for himself as he, a virtual unknown writer in Peru, captured the Premio Leopoldo Alas for his work “Los Jefes” (The Leaders), one of his most important books.
1962: The Latin author published his novel “La Ciudad y los Perros” (The Time of the Hero) and then was awarded the Premio Biblioteca Breve Seix Barral. Upon winning the award, military authorities burned 1,000 copies in Lima, damning it as the work of a Marxist.
1963: The Paris-based Peruvian writer Vargas Llosa was runner-up at the Premio Formentor.
1965: He published “La Casa Verde” (The Green House). On the other hand, he visited the Socialist Republic of Cuba, a country dominated by a Soviet-backed regime. Subsequently he received the Premio de la Critica.
1967: Upon publishing “Los Cachorros” (The Pups), the South American writer won the Premio Romulo Gallegos.
1968: Like many other Latin American and European writers, he spoke out in favor of the Cuban Revolution.
1969: “Conversacion en la Catedral” (Conversation in the Cathedral) was written by Vargas Llosa. However in time, on November 22, 1975, Penny Lernoux wrote on “Conversation in the Cathedral”: “The latest and most brilliant novel of Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa, and one of the most scathing denunciations ever written on the corruption and immorality of Latin America’s ruling classes”.
1970s — A Campaigner for Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba
1971: The prize-winning Peruvian novelist Vargas LLosa expressed his strong opposition to the Cuban Revolution as he spoke out against Castro’s jailing of the poet Heberto Padilla. Since the 1970s, he has forced the world to pay attention to the tragedy in Cuba.
1971-1972: He wrote “Garcia Marquez: Historia de un deicidio” (Story of a Deicide). Over the following months, he also Published “La Historia Secreta de una Novela” (The Secret History of a Novel).
1973: Vargas Llosa’s novel “Pantaleon y las Visitadoras” (Pantaleon and the Visitors) was published.
1976: He became the first personality from Peru ever invited to be judge at the Cannes Film Festival.
1977: Vargas Llosa’s career took a quantum leap forward in 1980 as he was named President of Pen Club International. In the meantime, he provoked controversy as he wrote “La Tia Julia y el Escribidor” ( Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter).
1980s — The Father of Modern Peru
1980: The Latin novelist made international headlines when he won a scholarship to the Foundation Wilson Center in Washington (DC). His selection was based on his international reputation. Meanwhile, he was openly critical of the Soviet-led invasion of Afghanistan.
1980-1990: He was one of the earliest and most outspoken critics of Peru’s terrorist group Shining Path, one of the most brutal terrorist movements in the world.
1981: “La Guerra del Fin del Mundo” (The War of the End of the World), set in Brazil, was written by the born-Peruvian Vargas Llosa, becoming one of his most popular works. Meanwhile, he also produced “La Senorita de Tacna” (Miss Tacna). On the other hand, he became an ardent supporter of democracy and freedom in Latin American.
1982: Along with Cicely Tyson (actress) and David Copperfield ( magician), the London-based Peruvian novelist Vargas Llosa became one of the international judges at the 31st Miss Universe Pageant, among the most anti-Communist organizations, in Lima.
1984: He criticized the Castro administration as an instrument of the Soviet Union in the Third World.
1985: Upon winning the Paris Ritz Hemingway Award, he gave $ 50,000 to children from Ayacucho, a region devastated by terrorism.
1986: The Latin American essayist wrote “Quien Mato a Palomino Molero?” (Who Killed Palomino Molero?). On the other hand, his talent was recognized by Spain when he received the Premio Principe Asturias (The Prince of Asturias Award), becoming one of the most eminent novelist in the world.
1987: On August 21, 1987, he led a protest movement in Peru against President Alan Garcia’s pro-Socialist policies. Hundreds gather to support Vargas Llosa. Subsequently, he founded the Movimiento Libertad, a political party. However, decades ago, he said, “I myself do not have even a minimum vocation for politics. I detest people who use literature for political ends”.
1988-1989: “Elogio de la Madrasta”(In Praise of the Stepmother) was written by the London-based Peruvian essayist Vargas Llosa. During that same year, he, who admires Margaret Thatcher (the former ruler of the United Kingdom between 1979 and 1990) became the first writer to lead a major political party in Peru when he was chosen as the leader of FREDEMO, the nation’s opposition party. During his presidential campaign, he visited Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
1990s – Peru’s Last Hero
1990: In April, despite an initial burst of enthusiasm for his candidacy for the FREDEMO, he did not win the presidential election. In a runoff election, Alberto Kenya Fujimori, of Cambio 90, was elected President of Peru, defeating Vargas Llosa. Fujimori defeated Vargas Llosa by 62,4% to 37,6 %. Prior to presidential election, Vargas Llosa had led in almost all the polls.
1992: Following the April 1992 military coup, he condemned the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori of Peru. In view of the climate of political uncertainty that prevailed during the tyranny of Fujimori, he became a Spaniard citizen. During the years that followed, he was condemned as a traitor by the nation’s then-dictator Fujimori.
1993: He published “El Pez en el Agua. Memories”( A Fish in the Water), an essay on Peruvian politics.
1993: After publishing “Lituma en los Andes”(Death in the Andes),the Peruvian-born Spanish author Vargas Llosa received the Premio Planeta, the Globe’s second most prestigious literary prize.
1994: Vargas Llosa had a good year in 1994. Why? He, an expert on Third World studies, earned a place in Peruvian history as he captured the Premio Miguel Cervantes.
1995: To surprise million Latin Americans, he won the Jerusalem Prize.
1996: The Peruvian-born Spanish novelist Vargas Llosa became one of the members of the Royal Spanish Academy.
1997: “La Utopia Arcaica. Jose Maria Arguedas y las Ficciones el Indigenismo”( Archaic Uopia: Jose Maria Arguedas and the Fictions of Indigenismo) and “Los Cuadernos de Don Rigoberto”(Notebooks of Don Rigoberto) were published by the prize-winning Peruvian essayist Vargas Llosa.
2000s – A World Symbol of the Struggle Against Tyranny
2000: “La Fiesta del Chivo” ( The Feast of the Goat), set in the Dominican Republic during the tyranny of Rafael Trujillo, was written by Vargas Llosa. In the meantime, he became one of the most influential authors in the world.
2001: The prize-winning Peruvian novelist/essayist Vargas Llosa spoke out against Venezuela’s warlord Hugo Chavez Frias.
2003: Despite the brilliance of his career, the South American essayist had not won the Nobel Literature Prize. Vargas Llosa was one of the favorites to win the 2003 Nobel Literature Prize, alongside names like Ismail Kadare (Albania), and Milan Kundera (Czech Republic), as well as Margaret Atwood (Canada) and Adunis (Syria).
2004: With the exception of Javier Perez de Cuellar (UN Secretary-General, 1981-1991), few Peruvians are better known internationally than author Mario Vargas Llosa. Nonetheless, few people from Peru really know Vargas Llosa’s background.
2005: The Latin author, who speaks very good English, made a name for himself when he captured the 2005 Irving Kristol Award.
2006: For the first time, the South American author published an essay on Palestine ( Israel-Palestine. Peace or Holy War).
2008: The prize-winning Peruvian novelist Vargas Llosa widely criticized the Venezuelan-backed government of Cuban dictator Raul Castro.
2009: He embarked on a vigorous democratic campaign to persuade the Peruvian government to build a museum of memory and human rights.
2010: On October 7, 2010, the Republic of Peru, a Spanish-speaking independent country since 1821, had perhaps its greatest happiness in its national history as Mario Vargas Llosa, who writes about dictatorships, violence and democracy, won the 2010 Nobel Literature Prize, the world’s most prestigious award. Latin America had to wait 20 years to finally win the international award. Ironically, he, who had received little mention in the Peruvian press, wasn’t among the favorites to win the Swedish Award. Vargas Llosa’s win is a milestone in the history of Peru, which has the second-worst education system in the Western Hemisphere. Without a doubt, he has become a national symbol; it made every Peruvian proud. With the victory of Vargas Llosa, Peru has the distinction of being the fifth Latin American country to win the Nobel Literature Prize, after Chile (1945 & 1971), Guatemala (1967), Colombia (1982) and the United Mexican States (1990). He had been nominated many times for the Nobel Award since the late 1970s. On the other hand, in Arequipa many people were enthusiastic about Vargas Llosa’s victory. The Nobel prize-winning novelist hails from Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city.
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