Mario Vargas Llosa, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, attended La Salle College in Cochabamba, Bolivia as a young boy. The 74-year-old writer was born in Arequipa, Peru and moved to Cochabamba at an early age. At just eight-years-old, he wrote “A Letter to the Child God.” He returned to Peru with his family in 1945.
In a text titled “Spontaneous Jottings: the Seed of Dreams,” Vargas explained how his literary career began: “Our teacher, Brother Justiniano, made us chant the letters one by one, then all in a ring, with hands joined, we had to repeat the sound of the letters, then to separate the syllables of each word, before putting them together again and learning them by heart.”
The college still has a school photo of the Nobel Prize winner with his classmates around the year 1945.
In an interview with Nobelprize.org immediately following the announcement, Llosa said he didn’t expect it and didn’t know he was a candidate. Llosa said, “I’m deeply moved and grateful! It’s been a great surprise! Well, I don’t know what to say … I feel overwhelmed, really!”