Álvaro Enrigue Interview
On a tennis court in Rome, two vicious opponents face each other. One is the famous painter, Caravaggio, the other the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo. They play for honour and pride – the tennis racquet a substitute for their swords – and in the stands, Gallileo sits opposite the Duke of Osuna.
Woven between the points is the history of the time: the struggles of monarchs, the conquest of a new world, and the creation of art.
The new book by Álvaro Enrigue, Sudden Death, isn’t like anything else you’ll read this year – a deeply considered and kaleidoscopic look at history and its characters – centred around a game that never happened. It won the Herralde Prize, and the Barcelona Prize for Fiction, and is now available in English.
Álvaro spoke to Sky Kirkham about the legacy of Cortés, whether art or politics is more important in history, and some surprisingly unique tennis balls. Originally broadcast 26/05/2016. Sudden Death is out through Random House.