Last week, the Nobel Academy announced that it has chosen Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa for its 2010 literature prize. This is the first time a South American writer has been chosen for the prize since 1982, when Gabriel Garcia Marquez won (coincidentally -- and probably completely unrelated -- Llosa once punched Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the nose at a Mexican movie premiere.)
The Nobel Committee stated that it chose Vargas Llosa "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." Like many South American authors, Mario Vargas Llosa is well-known for being politically active. He was an early supporter of Castro's Cuban revolution, but eventually came to disagree with Castro and later in life became known for promoting free market and democratic policies. In the 1990's he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of Peru.
Although Vargas Llosa writes in Spanish, many of his works are available in English translation. We currently have 17 of his books, including novels, essays and literary criticism in Spanish and English. If you're interested, stop by the Reference Desk, and we'll be happy to help you find one. If you'd like to know more about the newest Nobel Prize for Literature winner, check out Early Word's Mario Vargas Llosa cheat sheet here.