One of Latin America's greatest novelists, Mario Vargas Llosa is also a most acute and wide ranging cultural critic and an acerbic political commentator. Touchstones includes his readings of major twentieth century novels, from Heart of Darkness to The Tin Drum and Herzog and major works by Hemingway, Woolf, Orwell, Camus and Nabokov. There are long studies of George Grosz, vignettes on Botero and Picasso, and an appreciation of Cezanne and Van Gogh, including a visit to Cezanne's homes on the South Seas. Also included are essays on political and social thinkers, from the nineteenth century feminist, Flora Tristan, to Isaiah Berlin, and contemporary pieces on 9/11, the aftermath of the war in Iraq, and the terrorist attacks on London and Madrid. Fantastically intelligent, inspired and surprising, Touchstones is a landmark collection from one of the world's leading intellectuals.