Nobel poet casts vote for her successor

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The Independent Online
Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, the winner of last year's Nobel literature prize, said she would like exiled Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa to succeed her.

"Llosa is the one I would most eagerly send a congratulatory letter to," Szymborska told a literary gathering in Krakow. "According to an unwritten tradition, last year I received a letter of congratulations from my predecessor, Seamus Heaney. Now it's my turn to send such a letter."

Llosa, an essayist and author of 25 novels, is one of the most widely- read Latin American writers. He has been living abroad, in Spain and England, since an unsuccessful 1990 bid for Peru's presidency. Although he has forsaken politics as such, Llosa believes writers should not only produce "pure light entertainment" but also be involved in public affairs. "Literature should arouse concern, warn of danger and inspire action for a good cause," he said when he received last year's German Peace Prize.

Among Llosa's best-known novels are The War at the End of the World, devoted to a 19th-century Brazilian peasants' revolt, and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, a satire on Latin America's popular soap operas.

This year the annual Nobel literature prize, whose winner is expected to be announced shortly, is worth pounds 625,000). This year's contenders include Cees Noteboom, from the Netherlands, Belgian Hugo Claus and Jose Saramago of Portugal. - Reuters