Monday, March 28, 2011

This Day in Literary History

Peruvian novelist and unsuccessful presidential candidate Mario Vargas Llosa is born. Llosa, who built his fame as a writer on works ranging from novels to plays to critical essays, was educated in Bolivia, where he grandfather was Peruvian consul. He attended military school in Lima and began to publish short stories in the early 1950s. At San Marco University in Lima, he became an avid Communist, but his later politics became increasingly conservative.

From 1959 to 1966, he lived in Paris and published his first novel, The Time of the Heroes (1963). In 1966, he published The Green House and the following year produced The Cubs and Other Stories. After 1966, he lived in England, the U.S., and Spain and returned to Peru in 1974, where he wrote several bestsellers. In 1990, he ran unsuccessfully for president of Peru. In 1994, he received the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious international award for Spanish-language literature.

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