OVERRIDE

A Fish in the Water

A Memoir

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane

Picador

Mario Vargas Llosa's A Fish in the Water is a twofold book: a memoir of one of Latin America's most celebrated witers, beginning with his birth in 1936 in Arequipa, Peru; and the story of his organization of the reform movement which culminated in his bid for the Peruvian presidency in 1990.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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A FISH IN THE WATER  Chapter One

The Man Who Was My Papa

My mama took me by the arm and led me out into the street by the service entrance of the prefecture. We walked along toward the Eguiguren embankment. It was the final days of 1946 or the first days of 1947, but exams at the Salesian school were already over, I had finished the fifth grade, and summer in Piura, with its white light and asphyxiating heat, had already come.

“You already know it, of course,” my mama said, without her voice trembling. “Isn’t that so?”

“Know what?”

“That

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REVIEWS

Praise for A Fish in the Water

“[Mario Vargas Llosa] has published a fascinating and often bitter memoir . . . enlightening.” —The New York Times

“[A Fish in the Water] offers a convincing self-portrait of a political innocent sinking under a tide of democratic absurdities. . . . An often funny and cautionary tale.” —Time

“An absorbing picture not only of the growth of a rapaciously inquisitive intellectual, but a fascinating portrait of Peru over the past thirty years, with many of the same qualities—intelligence, an eye for detail, bursts of humour and anger—that are so memorable in [Vargas Llosa's] novels . . . one cannot help but admire [his] courage.” —The Independent (London)
 
“This volume of memoirs will not disappoint fans of his novels (among whom I count myself). . . . Vargas Llosa emerges here as the brilliant writer he has always been, with insights into politics as deep as those he has previously shown about other forms of human endeavor.” —Elliott Abrams, The American Spectator
 
“A dazzling performance, one of [Vargas Llosa's] very best books, full of curious, even surreal, events . . . I urge all who read this review to buy it immediately. They may think I have understated its merits." —Hugh Thomas, National Review
 
“Intriguing . . . Reads like the diary of an astute social critic who, for reasons he does not fully comprehend, has also become the protagonist of the events he observes.” —Arturo J. Cruz, Jr., Commentary

“An artful political and literary memoir . . . Vargas Llosa’s narrative skill and novelist’s eye animate the unfamiliar politics, people, and culture of Peru. Essential political as well as literary reading.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane

  • Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Peru’s foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa Morgana Vargas Llosa
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Available Formats and Book Details

A Fish in the Water

A Memoir

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane

Nobel Prize For Literature
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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