Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel-winning novelist, hospitalized with Covid-19

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Peruvian novelist and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has been hospitalized in Madrid with Covid-19, his son said Monday.

“In light of the interest by the news media in our father’s health, we make public that he has been hospitalized since Saturday after being diagnosed with Covid-19,” Alvaro Vargas Llosa tweeted on behalf of himself and his siblings, Gonzalo and Morgana Vargas Llosa.

The 87-year-old has been in hospital since July 1, surrounded by family, and is being treated by “excellent” professionals, the tweet added.

Vargas Llosa lives in Madrid and holds Spanish as well as Peruvian citizenship.

Born in Arequipa, Peru in 1936, Vargas Llosa was brought up by his mother until his father reappeared and brought an authoritarian change to his life.

As well as the hostile environment at home, Vargas Llosa lived through Peru’s political turmoil, which saw the rise of dictator Manuel Odría in 1948.

In 1963, he published his first novel, “The Time of the Hero,” a tale based on his own experience, about adolescents struggling to survive in a brutal military academy.

Social change has been a key theme in his literary works, and in 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for President of Peru. Three years after this defeat, he became a Spanish citizen.

In 2010, the Nobel Prize committee awarded him the Literature Prize, writing in its citation that he was receiving the prize “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.”


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