“You cannot teach creativity - how to become a good writer. But you can help a young writer discover within himself what kind of writer he would like to be.” – Mario Vargas Llosa
Born on this date in 1936, Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, and college professor Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature and is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists. Some critics have said he’s had a larger international impact and gained a greater worldwide audience than any other writer of his generation.
Vargas Llosa’s novels include comedies, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers and several have been adapted as feature films. Most of his works have been translated into multiple languages, expanding his reach as a writer. Literary critic Harold Bloom included his novel The War of the End of the World (also a movie) in his list of essential literary works in the Western Canon.
A staunch liberal and a leading voice for liberal causes throughout Latin America, he used his celebrity as a well-known writer and essayist to launch a 1990 bid for the Peruvian presidency, a race he lost to Alberto Fujimori. Since then he's continued his prolific writing career but sometimes decries the isolation writing can bring.
“Writing a book is a very lonely business,” he once said. “You are totally cut off from the rest of the world, submerged in your obsessions and memories.”
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