Vargas Llosa is not just the grand old man of South American letters (he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2010 and is the author of 18 works of fiction, 9 plays and 16 works of non-fiction); he is also one of the most authoritative commentators on the politics of the continent (albeit from exile in Spain). In 1990, disenchanted by the left-wing presidency of Alan Garcia, Vargas Llosa ran for the Peruvian presidency on a free-market ticket. He lost in the second round to Alberto Fujimori. His 2013 novel El héroe discrete (The Discreet Hero), one of the themes of which is corruption in Peru, is published in the United Kingdom in March.
A literary engagement
Does literature serve any higher purpose beyond entertainment? Mario Vargas Llosa argues that, unlike television or cinema, it has a special ability and responsibility to address itself to the problems of its time.
Vargas Llosa, and how to win a Nobel
Tom Chatfield considers Vargas Llosa’s 2010 Nobel Prize win.
Interview—Mario Vargas Llosa
Broad discussion with Vargas Llosa on his life, times and works.