One of the world’s most outstanding contemporary authors, Mario Vargas Llosa has invigorated Latin American literature with his vivid portraits of life in his continent. Translated into more than 30 languages, his works—including Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977), The War of the End of the World (1981), The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (1984) and The Way to Paradise (2003)— create an “aesthetic double of the real world,” in which artistic pleasure is often infused with social concerns. He has also earned praise for his essays on politics and on literary figures such as Flaubert, Camus and Sartre, whose writings affected him profoundly. His quest for political reform led him to run, unsuccessfully, for the presidency of his native Peru in 1990. Vargas Llosa has received many honors, from a Peruvian Congressional Medal of Honor (1981) to the Légion d’honneur (1985), the Prince of Asturias Prize (1986), Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1987), the Cervantes Prize (1994) and the National Book Critics Circle Award (1998).