dark horse Mario Vargas Llosa, a 74-year-old Peruvian novelist whose work runs the gamut from plays to literary fiction to essays to mysteries (our Whodunit columnist, Bruce Tierney, reviewed his 2001 thriller The Feast of the Goat).

The Academy praised Llosa “for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.”

Like the work of other recent Nobel winners, Llosa's writing often has a political angle—not surprising, considering his interest in the subject ran deep enough for him to launch an unsuccessful bid for the Peruvian presidency in 1990. He is currently working as a Latin American Studies professor at Princeton.

Read more about his win in The New York Times and see a slideshow of pictures from his life in The Guardian.

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