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Literature: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (Spanish: La Tía Julia y el escribidor) is one of the most known novels of 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, something that just doesn’t help bring the bread to the table.

It is also the story of a writer of radial Soap Operas called Pedro Camacho (the titular scriptwriter), a Bolivian who’s hired by the station to write acclaimed 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 may think of, bringing attention and lots of money for 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 plot of the story, while the even chapters (except for the last one, which serves as some sort of an epilogue) show some of Camacho’s Soap Operas, which are conveniently mentioned before or after by some of the characters of the main story.

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

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Alternative Title(s):

Aunt Julia And The Scriptwriter