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Letters to a Young Novelist

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

Picador

In the tradition of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, Mario Vargas Llosa condenses a lifetime of writing, reading, and thought into an essential manual for aspiring writers, revealing in the process his deepest beliefs about our common literary endeavor. A writer, in his view, is a being seized by an insatiable appetite for creation, a rebel and a dreamer. But dreams, when set down on paper, require disciplined development, and so Vargas Llosa undertakes to supply the tools of transformation.

Drawing on the stories and novels of writers from around the globe—Borges, Bierce, Celine, Cortazar, Faulkner, Kafka, Robbe-Grillet—he lays bare the inner workings of fiction, examining time, space, style, and structure, all the while urging young novelists not to lose touch with the elemental urge to create.

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Praise for Letters to a Young Novelist

“A fascinating commentary...distills [great works] brilliantly, revealing an architecture to their greatness.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Ought to be dubbed the world’s cheapest MFA...Not just a book for writers, but one for readers, too...And for those who want to do more than read, [it] will instruct, illuminate, and most important, inspire.” —St. Petersburg Times

“[This book] will make you, if not a novelist, at least a subtler taster of novels.” —San Antonio Express

“Less a collection of dictums on the craft of the novel than a tribute to its formal complexities and potential through his admiring comments on works by the likes of Flaubert and Cervantes.” —The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

  • 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

Letters to a Young Novelist

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Natasha Wimmer

Nobel Prize For Literature

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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