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Mario Vargas Llosa: 1936—: Writer Biography - Stayed On In France, Rejected Socialism

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Mario Vargas Llosa: 1936—: Writer.

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.

Vargas Llosa was born in the Peruvian city of Arequipa on March 28, 1936. He spent part of his childhood in Bolivia and was a voracious reader from the start; with an inclination toward classic novels of adventure such as The Three Musketeers, he sometimes penned his own endings, if the ones supplied were not to his liking. Vargas Llosa moved back to Peru with his family in 1945. For a time they lived in the small city of Piura, whose desolate house of prostitution would figure heavily in Vargas Llosa's novel, The Green House (La casa verde). Vargas Llosa later attended parochial school in Lima, but after his father found out about his literary efforts he was sent for two years to a military school called Leoncio Prado.

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