Mario Vargas Llosa wins the 2010 Nobel Literature Prize

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The Swedish Academy appreciated “his cartography of structures of power” and “trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.”

Mario Vargas Llosa, 74, has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays and is the first South American winner of the prize since 1982 when it went to Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

After the Nobel announcement on Thursday, Garcia Marquez tweeted: “cuentas iguales” (“now we’re even” in Spanish).

The Swedish Academy’s Peter Englund said Vargas Llosa was “a divinely gifted story-teller,” whose writing touched the reader and added that the writer was in New York – where he is currently teaching at Princeton University – and was told by telephone that he had won the prize. “He was very, very happy and very moved,” Englund said.

Even though Vargas Llosa said that “a writer shouldn’t think about the Nobel prize as it is bad for one’s writing”, he thought it was a joke when he received the call: “I am very surprised, I did not expect this. It had been years since my name was even mentioned. It has certainly been a total surprise.”

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