Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa said Thursday he hoped to survive the excitement around winning literature's highest honor, the Nobel prize.
"I hope to survive the Nobel," he joked in his first press conference since winning the prestigious prize.
"I'm surprised, I still can't believe it," he said, adding that the prize "recognizes the importance of Latin American literature."
Vargas Llosa, 74, author of "The Feast of the Goat" and "The Time of the Hero," said he was certain his politics played no role in his honor.
"I hoped they gave it to me for my body of work more than for my political ideas," he said.
In 1990, Vargas Llosa, a free-market supporter who had never run for office, ran for president of Peru representing a coalition of conservative parties.
The famous author however was a stiff candidate who lacked the common touch and lost to an savvy unknown academic of Japanese descent named Alberto Fujimori.
Source: AFP Global Edition