Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Literature Prize.

The committee said Mr Vargas Llosa received the award ‘for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat’.

Mr Vargas Llosa, who made his international breakthrough with the novel ‘The Time of the Hero’ in 1966, is the first Latin American winner for literature since Octavio Paz won in 1990.

His works build on his experiences of life in Peru in the late 1940s and the 1950s.

Mr Vargos Llosa ran for president of Peru in 1990 but lost to Alberto Fujimori, who ultimately had to flee the country and was subsequently convicted of various crimes.

‘He is an outstanding author, and one of the great authors in the Spanish speaking world,’ Peter Englund of the Nobel committee told Reuters.

‘He is one of the persons behind the Latin-American literary boom of the '60s and '70s, and he has continued to work and expand.’

Mr Vargas Llosa, who has lectured and taught at universities in Latin America, the US and Europe, is also a noted journalist and essayist.

Last year Herta Mueller from Germany won the prestigious award.

The prize of 10m Swedish crowns was the fourth of this year's Nobel prizes, following awards for medicine on Monday, physics on Tuesday and chemistry yesterday.