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Touchstones

Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics

Mario Vargas Llosa; Selected, edited, and translated by John King

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

One of Latin Am erica’s most garlanded novelists—and the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature—Mario Vargas Llosa is also an acute and wide-ranging cultural critic and an acerbic political commentator. Touchstones collects Vargas Llosa’s brilliant readings of seminal twentieth-century novels, from Heart of Darkness to The Tin Drum; incisive essays on political and social thinkers; and contemporary pieces on 9/11 and the immediate aftermath of the war in Iraq.

Fantastically intelligent, inspired, and surprising, Touchstones is a landmark collection of essays from one of the world’s leading writers and intellectuals.

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TOUCHSTONES (Chapter One)Seed of Dreams

The house in Ladislao Cabrera Street in Cochabamba, where I spent my earliest years, had three patios. It was single-storey and very big, at least in my recollection of that period, which my memory preserves as an innocent and happy time. What for many people is a stereotype – the paradise of childhood – was for me a reality, although doubtless since that time this reality has been embellished by distance and nostalgia.

In this Eden, the main focus is the house with the solid front door that opened onto a hallway with a concave roof which

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REVIEWS

Praise for Touchstones

“In the star-studded world of the Latin American novel, Mario Vargas Llosa is a supernova.” —Raymond Sokolov, The Wall Street Journal

“The bold, dynamic and endlessly productive imagination of the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the writing giants of our time, is something truly to be admired . . . As with any great writer, [he] makes us see clearly what we have been looking at all the while but never noticed.” —Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

“Generous in friendship, unfailingly curious about the world at large, tireless in his quest to probe the nature of the human animal, [Vargas Llosa] is a model writer for our times.” —Marie Arana, The Washington Post

“[Vargas Llosa] is a worldly writer in the best sense of the word: intelligent, urbane, well-traveled, well-informed, cosmopolitan, free-thinking and free-speaking.” —Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

“Mario Vargas Llosa has long been a literary adventurer of the very first order . . . [He], I am convinced, can tell us stories about anything and make them dance to his inventive rhythms.” —Lisa Appignanesi, The Independent

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Selected, edited, and translated by John King

  • Mario Vargas Llosa is Peru's foremost author and the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994 he was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and in 1995 he won the Jerusalem Prize. His many distinguished works include The Storyteller, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Death in the Andes, In Praise of the Stepmother, The Bad Girl, Conversation in the Cathedral, The Way to Paradise, and The War of the End of the World. He lives in London.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa Morgana Vargas Llosa
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Touchstones

Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics

Mario Vargas Llosa; Selected, edited, and translated by John King

Nobel Prize For Literature

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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