The Hispano-Peruvian Writer Mario vargas placeholder image Llosa has been chosen new member of the French Academy by imposing his candidacy on that of the filmmaker Fredéric Vignale by 18 votes in favor and one against, as reported by the institution.

Vargas Llosa’s admission to the Academy is an exception for the institution, Since 2010 it is necessary to be under 75 years of age to apply for a position. The writer of ‘Conversation in the Cathedral’, who lived for several years in Paris, is the first Nobel Prize winner to enter the Academy since 1933, when François Mauriac agreed.

Vargas Llosa was born in 1936 in Arequipa, Peru. During the first years he was in the care of his maternal grandparents and his mother, as his parents had separated a few months before his birth. Years later the marriage resumed their relationship and the whole family moved to Lima, where he was sent to a military college, which turned out to be, over time, the setting for his first texts.

As reflected in the biography of his chair, before turning fifteen he had already published articles in a local newspaper and he had premiered his first play: ‘La huida del Inca’. He studied Literature at the National University of San Marcos in Lima and, although convinced of his literary vocation, he also studied Law.

In 1957, with two books published (‘Los jefes’ and ‘El abuelo’), he moved to Madrid and three years later, to Paris. In 1963, ‘La ciudad y los perros’ won the Short Library award and, shortly after, won the Spanish Critics Award. ‘La Casa Verde’ (Rómulo Gallegos award, 1965) and ‘Conversación en La Catedral’, published in 1969, placed him at the forefront of the boom in Latin American literature.

In the 1970s, Vargas Llosa devoted himself to both essays and satire (‘Pantaleón and the Visitors’) and the novel (‘La tía Julia y el Escridor’). In the eighties he investigated messianism and the revolutionary ideal of the continent with a couple of novels (‘The war at the end of the world’, 1981; and ‘Historia de Mayta’, 1984). Cervantes Prize in 1984, Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters in 1986, the decade ended with his candidacy as president of Peru in the 1990 elections, in which he was defeated by Alberto Fujimori.

In 1993 he published his memoirs, ‘The fish in the water’, and the novel ‘Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto’. In 2000 he recreated the figure of the Latin American dictator in ‘La Fiesta del Chivo’. Honored with various awards and honoris causa by different world universities (Yale, 1994; Harvard, 1999; San Marcos de Lima, 2001; Oxford, 2003; La Sorbonne, 2005), in 2010 he received the Nobel Prize. Since 1994 he has been a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.

His most recent work consists of several essays (‘Sabers and utopias’, 2009; ‘The civilization of the spectacle’, 2012; ‘The call of the tribe’, 2018) and the novels ‘Mischief of the bad girl’ (2006) and ‘The Celtic’s dream’ (2011), ‘The discreet hero’ (2013), ‘Cinco Esquinas’ (2016) and ‘Hard times’ (2019).

By Editor

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