Vargas Llosa, Mario. Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. New York. 1982. Farrar Straus Giroux. 0374106916. Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane. 374 pages. hardcover. Jacket design (c) 1982 by Tom Christopher. Jacket photograph (c) 1982 by Alicia Benavides.




Mario Vargas Llosa has long been acknowledged as one of Latin America’s most important writers. A novelist of wide-ranging concerns, Vargas Llosa has, with AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER, written his comic masterpiece-a ribald, sophisticated tale of life and love in Lima of the 1950s. In AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER he tells, in fact, two stories which unfold contrapuntally. On one level, the book concerns young Mario, who, while working at a second-rate Lima radio station, becomes romantically involved with Julia, his divorced, thirty-two-year-old aunt. The development of their liaison-from fling to romance to marriage-and the scandal it creates is the keenly observed, witty main plot. Interwoven with this love affair is the tale of Pedro Camacho, Mario’s friend at the radio station, and the resident scriptwriter of outlandish soap operas which are the hit of Lima. This second story is equally funny, but the humor is darker and the conclusion serious indeed. Camacho’s plots become more and more convoluted, and his absorption in them so total that soon he dresses like his characters in order to write, and finally confuses them so completely that he must destroy them all. His Gothic tales of ruin become a parable of his own rum. AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER is a wonderful, deft story which is also an account of storytelling-its pleasures and its dangers. Combining grace, humor, and an understated seriousness, the book is a brilliantly realized tour de force.


The Avon Bard edition:


0380637278Vargas Llosa, Mario. Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. New York. 1983. Avon/Bard. 0380637278. Translated from the Spanish by Helen R. Lane. 374 pages. paperback. Front cover illustration by Victor Gadino.



‘FUNNY, EXTRAVAGANT . . . A WONDERFULLY COMIC NOVEL ALMOST UNBELIEVABLY RICH IN CHARACTER, PLACE AND EVENT.’ - LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW . . . ‘Me, seducing a kid? Never!’ Rich, sexy Aunt Julia wants a new husband, not a boy. But her nephew lost his virginity five whole years ago, and has now lost his head over Aunt Julia. Roses, kissing, cooing . . . will this May-September scandal ever get down to serious improprieties? Can the nephew hope for help from his hero, a crack scriptwriter of superheated soaps? While legions of soap addicts hang on the scriptwriter’s frenzied episodes of incest, murder, rape and perversion, the lovers’ happiness hangs in the balance. ‘WILL READERS TURN THE PAGES TO FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING TOVargas Llosa Mario HAPPEN NEXT? YES: ’ - PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER ‘UPROARIOUS ENTERTAINMENT . . . FOR SHEER WIT, IMAGINATION AND HIGH STYLE, THIS SOAP OPERA OF LOVE CANT BE BEAT: ’ - CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR . . . ‘ONE OF THE TWELVE ‘BEST NOVELS OF 1982’ – THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW.

Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010. 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.





And for a slightly different perspective:




Urquidi Illanes, Julia. My Life With Mario Vargas Llosa . New York. 1988. Peter Lang. 0820406899. Translated from the Spanish by C. R. Perricone. Series XXII Latin American Studies Vol.1. 264 pages. hardcover.  




Living in a Paris garret with a struggling young writer who has since become a famous author was not fictional for Julia Urquidi Illanes when she married Mario Vargas Llosa. This English translation is an incredible but true 'portrait of an artist as a young man' and of his aunt by marriage, whom he later fictionalized in Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. Married for 9 years, Julia typed the first of his best-selling novels, The Time of the Hero, only to be abandoned when Mario fell in love with his first cousin Patricia, who is now his second wife. Readers will find this behind the scene account of a writer nominated for the Nobel prize gives insights into the creative processes of a novelist as it relates the range of human emotions in real life. Urquidi Illanes Julia


Julia Urquidi Illanes (30 May 1926 - 10 March 2010) was a Bolivian writer. Urquidi was born in Cochabamba. She was famous as the first wife of Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa (1955-1964) and also the namesake of one of his most famous novels, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. In 1983 she published her memories titled Lo que Varguitas no dijo (English: What Varguitas did not say). She died in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, aged 83.The English translator Catherine R. Perricone is Professor of Foreign Languages at Auburn University specializing in current Spanish American literature. She edited Alma y Corazon (Heart and Soul) an anthology of Latin American poetesses, and has published articles on Vargas Llosa and other novelists, an extensive bibliography on feminist criticism and Spanish American poetesses, and other subjects in Hispanic literature which have appeared in such journals as Hispania, Foreign Language Annals, Circulo, USF Language Quarterly, and The Americas Review.







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