Mario Vargas Llosa was born on 28 March, 1936 in Peru. He is a writer, politician, journalist and essayist. He was sent to the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima at the age of fourteen, but a year before graduation, began working as an amateur journalist for local newspapers. He withdrew from the military academy and finished his studies in Piura.
Vargas Llosa’s first novel, The Time of the Hero was published in 1963 and is set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school. Its sharp criticism of the Peruvian military establishment led to controversy in Peru.
He continues to write, both journalism and fiction, and to travel extensively. He has also taught as a visiting professor at a number of prominent universities. Mario Vargas Llosa is the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Award. He has also received several literary awards, including Leopoldo Alas Prize (1959), Rómulo Gallegos Prize (1967), National Critics’ Prize (1967), Peruvian National Prize (1967), Critics’ Annual Prize for Theatre (1981), Prince of Asturias Prize (1986) and Miguel de Cervantes Prize (1994).
Vargas Llosa has mainly lived in London since the 1990s, but spends roughly three months of the year in Peru.