An unyielding intellectual and a former leftist turned conservative—which was seen as a betrayal in certain quarters—wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
Emily Parker in The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize is a great victory—and not just for a talented and prolific author. His work is perhaps the greatest rebuttal to those who believe that literature exists on the periphery of history and politics, or who claim that they have "no time" for fiction.
In a New Republic essay in 2001, Mr. Vargas Llosa argued for granting literature "an important place in the life of nations." He wrote, "Without it, the critical mind, which is the real engine of historical change and the best protector of liberty, would suffer an irreparable loss."
Mr. Vargas Llosa's novels reflect his deep, personal hatred of dictatorships and his staunch belief in the value of individual liberty. He is hardly the only novelist to have shed light on these themes, but I would argue that he is among the most successful.