Thank you for the compliment. I am undeserving. I am just an simple observer hoping the others around stop to observe more and react less with haste. I wish I could see things from the perspective of being outside of the U.S. to get a clearer picture , so I envy you that vantage point on occasion. At the same time I owe my ability to observe, think and speak out to the ideals in this country... as in other places in the world where I could not for fear of imprisonment, torture or execution. I would guess that you feel as blessed.
The Nobel Prize Committee tends to embarrass itself with its literature choices. We Americans are still scratching our collective heads over John Steinbeck and especially Pearl S. Buck... What do you think the Italians thought when Dario Fo copped a prize?
...Yes, I should get back to reading more fiction. I have my own ambitions in that arena (didn't you guess?).
A terrible thing I have noticed about myself over the past couple of years is that the ratio of nonfiction to fiction in my reading has swung way out of balance. At the moment I am reading Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz and How Markets Fail by a pretty well respected economics journalist named John Cassidy. Glanced at a survey of 800 years of banking failures and economic defaults by Kenneth Rogoff. Most recent novel was a goodish but forgetable mystery set in Bangkok featuring a Buddhist detective.
I've never read Vargas Llosa or very many of the South American novelists. They are, as you'd imagine, very popular in America. In fact, a favorite Canadian novelist of mine, Robertson Davies, started referring to his own books as "magic realism" to borrow some of the respect and attention Central and South American authors like Marquez were getting from the American literary establishment!