IKE | Peruvian Prizewinner
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Peruvian Prizewinner

Peruvian Prizewinner

The British oddsmaker, Ladbrokes had Cormac McCarthy as a 3/1 favorite to snag the Nobel Prize in Literature. True to form, he didn’t win. Instead, the prize was awarded to Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa.

The Prize committee has a habit of defying expectations. Last year’s selection of Herta Müller as well as the 2008 pick, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio and the 2004 selection of Elfriede Jelinek caught Nobel watchers by surprise.

Vargas Llosa may be best known in the U.S. for his novel, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (loosely based on Llosa’s life as a young man) and for his presidential run against Alberto Fujimori in 1990.

Vargas Llosa was an early supporter of Fidel Castro, but over time his politics have shifted rightward toward an embrace of neolibralism. His work often explores power and corruption in Latin America.

“I hope they gave it to me more for my literary work and not my political opinions,” Vargas Llosa said at a news conference in New York. “I think Latin American literature deals with power and politics and this was inevitable. We in Latin America have not solved basic problems such as freedom.”

Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy praised Mr. Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.”

David Isaacson
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