Peruvian author wins Nobel Prize in literature

Mario Vargas Llosa's best known novels include "The Green House" and "The War of the End of the World."
Mario Vargas Llosa's best known novels include "The Green House" and "The War of the End of the World."
  • Mario Vargas Llosa says he is surprised and "very grateful"
  • Prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry have already been announced
  • The Peace Prize will be announced Friday
  • Last year's literature winner was Romanian-born Herta Mueller
(CNN) -- Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy announced.
Vargas Llosa was chosen "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat," the academy said.
"I am very grateful to have received this privilege," Vargas Llosa told CNN en EspaƱol.
"The truth is I did not expect it," he said in the televised interview. "It was a surprise ... but a pleasant surprise."
Vargas Llosa felt "very moved and enthused" by the prize, said Andina, the official Peruvian news agency, citing Peter Englund, president of the Nobel literature prize jury.
Vargas Llosa is in the United States, teaching two courses at Princeton University.
The author said the Swedish academy called him at 5:30 a.m. to inform him he had won and an announcement would be made in 14 minutes. The announcement was made as scheduled, he said, and the phone started ringing non-stop.
"This house has turned into a madhouse," he said.
The writer, 74, is the first Latino to be awarded the Nobel literature prize since Mexican author Octavio Paz won in 1990.
Vargas Llosa has led a varied life as a writer, politician and intellectual. He ran for president of Peru in 1990, winning the first round of votes but losing to Alberto Fujimori in a runoff.
Vargas Llosa holds dual Peruvian and Spanish citizenship, having obtained the Spanish status in March 1993.
He was born March 28, 1936, in Arequipa, Peru, to parents who were already separated by the time of his birth, a biography relates. He did not meet his father until he was 10 years old, the biography says.
Vargas Llosa's award follows the announcements this week of the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry. The Nobel Peace laureate is expected to be announced Friday while the prize in economics will be announced Monday.
Last year's literature prize was awarded to Romanian-born Herta Mueller, who now lives in Germany. She was honored for work that "depicts the landscape of the dispossessed," after years of persecution by the secret police for refusing to spy for her country and speaking out about oppression.
Vargas Llosa said he will accept the prize at the December 10 ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.