London, October 7, 2010—Mario Vargas Llosa was named as this year’s Nobel literature laureate at a ceremony today in Sweden. Vargas Llosa has been an active member of PEN for many years and served as the organization’s International President from 1976 – 1979.

“Mario Vargas Llosa has consistently demonstrated his commitment to literature and the cause of free expression, both through his writing and his political work,” said incumbent PEN International President John Ralston Saul. “He has been one of the determining leaders of PEN and I am delighted, as current PEN President and a friend, that he has been honoured with this award.”

Vargas Llosa has previously said that “In times of division between countries, PEN is one of the rare institutions to keep a bridge constantly open.”

Born in 1936 in Peru, Vargas Llosa is the author of nearly 30 works of fiction, non-fiction and drama, and several of his novels have been adapted into films. He is the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Literature Prize since Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1982.

The board, members and staff of PEN International congratulate Mario Vargas Llosa on this fitting acknowledgement of his lifetime contribution to literature.

PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, its global community of writers now spans more than 100 countries. PEN programs, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers wherever they are in the world.

PEN International, + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338