Literature / Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (Spanish: La Tía Julia y el escribidor) is one of the best-known novels by Mario Vargas Llosa. It is the story of a 18-year-old Peruvian boy named Mario Vargas falling in love with a divorcee more than ten years older than him, which also happens to be his uncle’s sister-in-law. Mario, however, works in a radio station and is an aspiring writer, which doesn’t help put bread on the table.

It is also the story of a writer of radio Soap Operas called Pedro Camacho (the titular scriptwriter), a Bolivian who’s hired by the station to write novelas for them, based on the fame he has on his native country. Camacho is a fanatical writer, spending all day long writing all sorts of stories with all the Soap Within a Show clichés you could think of, bringing attention and lots of money to the station. However, he also starts losing control of his stories, blending them together without realizing it...

The novel is written as two separate stories; the odd chapters deal with the main plot, while the even chapters (except for the last one, which serves as a sort of epilogue) take the form of excerpts from Camacho’s Soap Operas, which are conveniently mentioned before or after by the characters in the main story.

One of Vargas Llosa’s “comical novels”, it was adapted into a film, Tune In Tomorrow, with Peter Falk and Keanu Reeves.

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