It was announced today that Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize in literature. I am not familiar with this author (nor have I been with any laureate since 2003 when J.M. Coetzee was awarded - what kind of reader am I?!) but NPR says he's a "phenomenal" choice:
"What makes him significant, though, is not this backbone of steel or his shape-shifting political ideas - he was once a supporter of Castro, later a disillusioned communist, later still a center-left candidate - but the restless, searching way in which he has crabwalked across history and genres."In the words of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize in literature is awarded to the author, from any country, who has written "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction". Rather than be upset that I have never heard of Vargas Llosa I am going to celebrate it. That's the thing about Nobel laureates in literature; it's basically pointing out a fantastic author to the whole world, whether we have heard of him or not.
CNN tells me Vargas Llosa teaches at Princeton and his best-known novels are The Green House and The War of the End of the World.
Also, here is a lovely review Vargas Llosa did with the Paris Review that everyone who is interested in learning more about this Nobel laureate should read.