Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Fish in the Water

A Fish in the Water

A Memoir

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translatted by Helen Lane

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




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.

Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Prize For Literature



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...


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

About the author

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translatted by Helen Lane

Mario Vargas Llosa is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his cartography of the 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

Helen Lane

Work in Progress essay by Vargas Llosa

Learn about Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize

Paris Review Interview with Vargas Llosa

A New York Times profile on Vargas Llosa

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook