Congratulations to Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian writer who this morning was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature (and to the Swedish Academy, who made excellent usage of the word “trenchant” in describing Vargas Llosa’s work — it’s one of our favorite adjectives, and occurs in 551 Biography in Context biographies). We have eight biographies for Vargas Llosa, including one from Contemporary Hispanic Biography that, right off the bat, adeptly describes the future Nobel Laureate and drives home why he was this year’s winner:
Already a profound chronicler of South America’s political and social reality, Mario Vargas Llosa took an unusual step for a writer in the 1980s: he immersed himself in the political life of his native Peru rather than simply standing outside it as an observer. In the widest sense, Vargas Llosa has been a champion of freedom, a writer who spoke out against abuses of military and government power, who defied literary conventions, and who stood up for the cause of freedom of expression for writers worldwide. His more than 15 novels and numerous other writings have gained him international acclaim as one of Latin America’s most significant writers of the 20th century.