Home » Peru » Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa


Mario Vargas Llosa was born in 1936 in Arequipa. He spent much of his childhood with his grandparents, as his parents separated shortly before his birth (but were reconciled much later.) He attended military college in Lima, which was the basis for his first novel, La ciudad y los perros (The Time of the Hero). He spent two years there before dropping out and working as a journalist. He went back to university later, supporting himself while working for radio and as a journalist. In 1954, when he was eighteen years of age, he married Julia Urquidi, his twenty-eight year old aunt, the basis for his novel La tía Julia y el escribidor (Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter). As Vargas Llosa was under age, the marriage was carried out in secret. They divorced in 1963.

His first work, a collection of stories, was published in 1959, but he only achieved real success with his first novel, La ciudad y los perros (The Time of the Hero), published in 1963, following an extensive stay in Paris. Like other Latin American writers at this time, such as his then friend Gabriel García Márquez, he was involved in various left-wing causes and traveled to Cuba. With the publication of other well-received novels, he was now receiving awards and prestigious visiting lectureships throughout the world. Keeping his love life in the family, he married his first cousin, Patricia Llosa. They lived for a considerable time in Europe – particularly London, Barcelona and Paris. In the late 1980s, he became directly involved in politics in Peru.
He helped found a political party – FREDEMO and ran for president in 1990, against Fujimori. He lost and returned to writing and academia. He has continued to publish a series of very high quality fiction and non-fiction and is considered, along with Gabriel García Márquez, to be one of the best Latin American writers. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2010.

Books about Mario Vargas Llosa

Dick Gerdes: Mario Vargas Llosa

Other links

Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa’s journey: power and individualism
Mario Vargas Llosa: a life in writing
A literary engagement (article by Vargas Llosa)
His website (in Spanish)
Mario Vargas Llosa (in Spanish)
Mario Vargas Llosa (in Spanish)
Mario Vargas Llosa (in Spanish)


1959 Los jefes (The Cubs and Other Stories) (stories) (note that some of the stories in this work are included with the translation of Los cachorros)
1963 La ciudad y los perros (The Time of the Hero) (novel)
1965 La casa verde (The Green House) (novel)
1967 Los cachorros (The Cubs and Other Stories) (novel)
1969 Conversación en la catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral) (novel)
1971 García Márquez: historia de un deicidio
1971 El combate imaginario. Las cartas de batalla de Joanot Martorell
1971 La historia secreta de una novela
1973 Pantaleón y las visitadoras (Captain Pantoja and the Special Service) (novel)
1974 La novela
1975 La orgía perpetua: Flaubert y”Madame Bovary” (The Perpetual Orgy)
1977 La tía Julia y el escribidor (Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter) (novel)
1978 Obras escogidas
1981 La guerra del fin del mundo (The War of the End of the World) (novel)
1981 La señorita de Tacna (The Young Lady from Tacna) (drama)
1981 Entre Sartre y Camus
1983 Contra viento y marea (1962-1982)
1983 Kathie y el hipopótamo (Kathie and the Hippopotamus) (drama)
1984 Historia de Mayta (The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta) (novel)
1986 ¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero? (Who Killed Palomino Molero?) (novel)
1986 Contra viento y marea. Volumen II (1972-1983)
1986 La Chunga (La Chunga) (drama)
1987 El hablador (The Storyteller) (novel)
1988 Elogio de la madrastra (In Praise of the Stepmother) (novel)
1990 Contra viento y marea. Volumen III (1964-1988)
1990 La verdad de las mentiras (A Writer’s Reality)
1991 Carta de batalla por Tirant lo Blanc
1993 Lituma en los Andes (Death in the Andes) (novel)
1993 El pez en el agua. Memorias (A Fish in the Water)
1993 El loco de los balcones (drama)
1994 Desafíos a la libertad
1996 La utopía arcaica: José María Arguedas y las ficciones del indigenismo
1996 Ojos bonitos, cuadros feos
1997 Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto (The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto) (novel)
1997 Cartas a un joven novelista (Letters to a Young Novelist)
1997 Making Waves (journalism)
1999 Narrativa breve
2000 La fiesta del chivo (The Feast of the Goat) (novel)
2001 El lenguaje de la passion (The Language of Passion)
2001 Obra reunida. Teatro
2003 Diario de Irak
2003 El paraíso en la otra esquina (The Way to Paradise) (novel)
2004 Entrevistas escogidas
2004 La tentación de lo imposible: Victor Hugo y Los miserables (The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Misérables)
2006 Travesuras de la niña mala (The Bad Girl)
2006 Teatro: obra reunida
2006 Israel, Palestina: paz o guerra santa (photos by Morgana Vargas Llosa)
2008 Wellsprings (essays)
2008 Al pie del Támesis (photos by Morgana Vargas Llosa)
2009 El Viaje a la Ficción (literature)
2009 Ma parente d’Arequipa (short pieces)
2009 Comment j’ai vaincu ma peur de l’avion (short pieces)
2009 Sables y utopías (articles)
2009 Sueño y realidad de América Latina
2010 Fonchito y la luna (children’s)
2010 El sueño del celta (The Dream of the Celt) (novel)
2012 La civilización del espectáculo (essay)
2012 Piedra de Toque Vols I-III (journalism/criticism)
2013 El héroe discreto (The Discreet Hero) (novel)
2016 Cinco Esquinas (The Neighbourhood) (novel)
2017 Conversación en Princeton (literature)
2018 La llamada de la tribu (The Call of the Tribe) (autobiography)
2019 Tiempos recios (Harsh Times) (novel)
2020 Medio siglo con Borges (literature)
2022 La mirada quieta (de Pérez Galdós) (literature)
2023 Le dedico mi silencio (novel)