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Mario Vargas Llosa wins 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature


conversations-in-the-cathedral1Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian author, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature. The 74-year-old has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, and is the first South American winner since 1982 when Colombia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez triumphed. So much for the bookmakers saying Philip Roth would win. The Nobel Academy’s Peter Englund said Vargas Llosa was “a divinely gifted story-teller.”

In many ways, this is actually a mainstream selection from the Nobel Academy following the announcement of Herta Muller’s victory last year. Vargas Llosa is widely read around the world. His work is collectible but not particularly high priced.

Vargas Llosa, who has been heavily involved in politics during his career, became a Spanish national in 1993. His books have been translated into many languages.

His first major success was the novel, The Time of The Hero, which came from his experiences at a military academy in Peru. It was a very controversial book and copies were burnt by officers from Vargas Llosa’s academy.

The most expensive Vargas Llosa book to have sold on AbeBooks was a true first edition of Los Jefes (The Cubs and Other Stories), which was his first published book from 1959.

the-green-house1Conversation In The Cathedral, The War of the End of the World, The Feast of the Goat, The Green House and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, which became a woeful Keanu Reeves movie, are among his best known works.

True first editions of The Time of the Hero (La Ciudad y Los Perros) published in 1966 are also desirable. AbeBooks has sold copies for close to $500.

He is also famous for punching Gabriel Garcia Marquez but the reason for the dispute has never been revealed.

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Richard Davies

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