The Bad Girl

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A New York Times Notable Book of 2007

"Splendid, suspenseful, and irresistible . . . A contemporary love story that explores the mores of the urban 1960s--and 70s and 80s."--
The New York Times Book Review

Ricardo Somocurcio is in love with a bad girl. He loves her as a teenager known as "Lily" in Lima in 1950, when she flits into his life one summer and  disappears again without explanation. He loves her still when she reappears as a revolutionary in 1960s Paris, then later as Mrs. Richardson, the wife of a wealthy Englishman, and again as the mistress of a sinister Japanese businessman in Tokyo. However poorly she treats him, he is doomed to worship her. Charting Ricardo's expatriate life through his romances with this shape-shifting woman, Vargas Llosa has created a beguiling, epic romance about the life-altering power of obsession.


Praise for The Bad Girl

"Llosa writes an unabashed love story and makes no apologies for it. He seamlessly weaves it into the rich texture of the social atmosphere of the times. . . . Written with passion and energy that delivers."--Rocky Mountain  News

"Perversely charming . . . irresistibly entertaining."--The Washington Post Book World

"A marvelous novel."--Chicago Tribune

"Spans decades and continents--and in the process, with a deftness that borders on literary sleight of hand, bridges the personal and the universal."--San Francisco Chronicle

"A beautifully constructed, stinging tease of a novel.”--The Seattle Times



Reviews from Goodreads



  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

  • 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 distinguished works include The Storyteller, The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Death in the Andes, In Praise of the Stepmother, 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


Available Formats and Book Details

The Bad Girl

A Novel

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman

Nobel Prize For Literature