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By Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa's A Fish within the Water is a twofold e-book: a memoir of 1 of Latin America's so much celebrated witers, starting along with his start in 1936 in Arequipa, Peru; and the tale of his association of the reform circulation which culminated in his bid for the Peruvian presidency in 1990.

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Additional resources for A Fish in the Water: A Memoir

Example text

Mum and my baby brother, Khoa, left on one of the first canoes. Dad’s brother, Uncle Eight, piloted the boat while Mum and Khoa hid inside the tiny little steerage hatch. Uncle Eight hoisted several big heavy bags of corn into the boat and used them to cover the opening of the hatch so Mum and Khoa couldn’t be seen. Mum stuffed chunks of sticky rice into Khoa’s mouth so that he wouldn’t wail at the wrong moment. This was a foolproof plan because at fifteen months of age my brother had already earned the nickname ‘Fatty’.

The captain dropped down behind the ship’s railing for a moment and then reappeared with something in his hands. Dad couldn’t quite make it out. The captain threw the object onto our boat. Whack! A heavy axe landed on the deck. Everyone jumped, startled by the appearance of a weapon. A flicker of concern crossed Dad’s face as he looked up at the captain again. The captain pointed at the axe and gesticulated with his arms. More strange words came tumbling out. What’s he saying? Now the other sailors joined their captain in this crazy, cross-cultural game of charades.

The child was thrown to the feet of his mother. His life was spared. That baby was my brother Khoa. My crying mother gathered him up and held him tight, like a son who had returned from the dead. One by one the pirates went back to their vessel, taking with them every little thing they could find, even our broken second engine. The pirate with black teeth angrily yanked my aunty out of the pilothouse and shoved her back onto our boat. She fell on the deck and was protectively covered by the arms and bodies of our family, grateful that nothing further had happened to her.

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