Cover image for A writer's reality
A writer's reality
Vargas Llosa, Mario, 1936-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 1991.
Physical Description:
164 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Based on lectures given by the author at Syracuse University in Mar. and Apr. 1988.

Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ8498.32.A65 A5 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PQ8498.32.A65 A5 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Vargas Llosa reflects on six of his own novels and discusses the importance to him of the fiction of Borges, how his method of writing has evolved, his attraction to Sartre's work, days at military school, and the process of changing the dead language of "soap operas" into the living language of serious art. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Author Notes

Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, Peru on March 28, 1936. He studied literature and law at the National University of San Marcos and received a Ph.D from the University of Madrid in 1959. He is a writer, politician, and journalist. His works vary in genre from literary criticism and journalism to comedies, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers. His books include The Time of the Hero, The Green House, Conversation in the Cathedral, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Feast of the Goat, and The War of the End of the World. He has received numerous awards including the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize, the Premio Leopoldo Alas in 1959, the Premio Biblioteca Breve in 1962, the Premio Planeta in 1993, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize in 1994, the Jerusalem Prize in 1995, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In this revealing examination of the art of fiction writing, the well-known Peruvian novelist discloses his personal vision of his craft. Based on a series of lectures delivered at Syracuse University, these eight essays delve into what Vargas Llosa sees as a writer's raison d'etre: the transformation of lies into truth. He begins by praising Borges's contribution to Latin American literature, then chronicles the development of fiction as filtered through the history of Peruvian culture; the remaining six essays document the process of fiction writing in six of his novels. Readers will appreciate this frank approach, which provides valuable insight into the work of an artist. An important purchase for Spanish literature collections.-- Mary Ellen Beck, Troy P.L., N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This collection of essays is the outcome of a series of lectures given by Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa in 1988 during his tenure as visiting professor in the humanities at Syracuse University. Much of what is said here, particularly regarding the genesis of his novels, has already appeared elsewhere in Spanish over the last 25 years, but for the nonspecialist this volume represents a valuable contribution to an English-speaking audience's understanding of one of this century's most important and controversial literary figures. Throughout these pages the reader is afforded an intriguing look into Vargas Llosa's evolution as a writer and the literary demons that have driven his narrative. But equally important, this volume has as much to do with the fine line between fiction and reality, the transformational nature of the creative process, and the future of Latin American societies as it does with the specifics of Vargas Llosa's own narrative. Recommended for academic and public libraries. -J. J. Hassett, Swarthmore College