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Vargas Llosa, Mario (Translated by Helen R. Lane). A FISH IN THE WATER: A MEMOIR. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 532 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's debut memoir. One of the greatest literary and political memoirs of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now very scarce. Presents Mario Vargas Llosa's memoir about his Presidential candidacy and evolving political philosophy. In 1990, the greatest living Peruvian novelist ran for President of his country. Naively idealistic, he ultimately lost, to the guns, goons, and gold of his opponent, Alberto Fujimori. Every country gets the leader it deserves: Subsequently unmasked as not even a natural-born Peruvian (he forged his birth certificate), Fujimori methodically robbed his country blind and then fled to Japan when corruption charges surfaced against him. Vargas Llosa's account makes for gripping reading because unlike other politicians who write memoirs (with the indispensable help of a professional writer), he happens to be a real writer who wrote every word himself. "A Fish In The Water" is his masterly and illuminating account of his baptism of fire. Embittered by his defeat, Vargas Llosa became a Spanish citizen in 1993 but returns for private visits to Peru every year. He has since adopted a pragmatic, anti-ideological political position and distanced himself from partisan politics. Mario Vargas Llosa is the writer/intellectual/philosopher par excellence among the Latin-American geniuses of the so-called Boom: He refuses to be categorized, labeled, and reduced by ideology, whether it is Fascist conservatism, political correctness, or Leftist academicism, what he has condemned as "authoritarianism of the Left and the Right". He considers himself an heir to the great European cultural tradition yet his work is firmly grounded in Latin America's (not just his native Peru's) history and mythology. His aesthetics and literary practice - Vargas Llosa has embraced and appropriated every literary genre - prompted Roberto Bolano, his greatest successor, to consider him an inescapable influence, among a handful of others, on contemporary Latin-American literature. That is to say, to be a Latin-American writer is to become a Classical master of language and a Modernist artist, writing in language of the highest quality and reinventing literary form and convention at the same time. Literary genres are inventions of a particular culture's idea of imagination and storytelling, "templates" that Vargas Llosa transforms into "poetic tales" (in Harold Bloom's brilliant phrase). "He has helped evolve the art of the narration" (Nobel Prize Committee). "Literature shouldn't be secluded, provincial, or regional. It should be universal even if it has deep roots in one place" (Mario Vargas Llosa). A "must-have" title for Mario Vargas Llosa collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Mario Vargas Llosa. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now highly collectible. This is one of very few signed copies of the First American Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Among "Boom" writers, Mario Vargas Llosa has been grossly under-valued for the longest time. The collectible value of his books will not only keep but keep going up. A rare signed copy thus. Winner of the Cervantes Prize, awarded to the greatest living writers in Spanish by the Spanish Government, in 1994. Winner of the Jerusalem Prize in 1995. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. One of the greatest living writers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374155097. $200.00

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