Education Ministry to promote Vargas Llosa works following author’s Nobel award

Peru’s Education Ministry will promote the works of acclaimed Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday, in the nation’s school system, the deputy minister of education management, Idel Vexler, said.

“The idea is to incorporate in the readings each month the works of Mario Vargas Llosa. The Reading Plan is created so that monthly they read a work selected according to the interest of the student,” Vexler told state news agency Andina.

“You can’t oblige students to read the works of authors, but rather motivate and stimulate them. I think this is the precise moment for the significant, cultural impact, national pride that the youth are going to feel when they read Vargas Llosa.”

Vargas Llosa, 74, is the first Latin American to receive the award since 1990, when it was given to Octavio Paz of Mexico. The prize is given “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.”

His prolific work includes plays, essays, novels that range from historical to detective mysteries, comedy and political thrillers, and also newspaper columns and articles, including the fortnightly Piedra de Toque (Touchstone) in El Pais of Madrid. He is also a frequent speaker and visiting professor at universities in Europe and the United States.

In Peru, news of Vargas Llosa’s award has received widespread praise. Peru’s main daily, El Comercio, dedicated 10 of its first 11 pages in its Friday edition to Vargas Llosa. The announcement received front page coverage in the remainder of the nation’s main newspapers, including La Republica, Peru.21 and Correo.

“It is huge news, I am very happy,” said Peru’s Culture Minister Juan Ossio. “But I think he should have been awarded it a long time ago because all of his work is worth being recognized with the Nobel.”

“I’m going to talk with people in the private sector to be able to get out a popular editions [of his works] so that Vargas Llosa can reach all readers in the country and above all our youth.”

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