depicting the realities of tyranny — so as to end it.
Author | Peru
This year’s Nobel literature laureate, Mario Vargas Llosa, has outdone the history books over and over again during his half-century career, from Feast of the Goat’s study of tyranny’s corruption to The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta’s satire of Peruvian rebels. “We still have in Latin America … this atrocious tradition of authoritarianism and brutality … in politics,” he told journalists after winning the Nobel. “I think that is the reason why Latin American literature is impregnated with political preoccupations.”
For Vargas Llosa, those obsessions extend into public life. In 1990, he made a failed run for president of his home country, Peru. More recently, as an advocate and essayist, his distaste for dictators has set him decisively against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, with whom he has an ongoing feud. As Vargas Llosa said himself, “I think literature is an expression of life, and you cannot eradicate politics from life.”