Nominated by:

Galway Public Libraries, Ireland

Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas / El Colegio de México, A.C., Mexico City

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harvill Secker, UK

Riverhead Books, USA

Sudden Death

Álvaro Enrigue      

Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer

2018 Longlist

A brutal tennis match in Rome.

Two formidable opponents: the wild Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and the loutish Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo.

Galileo, Saint Mathew and Mary Magdalene heckle from the sidelines.

In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her executioner transforms her legendary locks into the most sought-after tennis balls of the time.

Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover scheme and conquer, fight and fuck, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change history.

Over the course of one dazzling tennis match – through assassinations and executions, carnal liaisons and papal dramas, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war – Sudden Death tells the grand adventure of the clash of empires and the dawn of the modern era.

About the author & translator

Álvaro Enrigue was born in Mexico and lives in New York City. He has taught at New York University, Princeton University, the University of Maryland and Columbia University. Sudden Death – his first novel to be translated into English – was awarded the prestigious Herralde Prize in Spain, the Elena Poniatowska International Novel Award in Mexico, and the Barcelona Prize for Fiction.

Natasha Wimmer is the translator of Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives and 2666. She lives in New York City.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments

An original and entertaining work of fiction to challenge and inform the reader.

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