Sudden Death: A Novel

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"Splendid" —New York Times
"Mind-bending." —Wall Street Journal
"Brilliantly original. The best new novel I've read this year." —Salman Rushdie

A daring, kaleidoscopic novel about the clash of empires and ideas, told through a tennis match in the sixteenth century between the radical Italian artist Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo, played with a ball made from the hair of the beheaded Anne Boleyn.

The poet and the artist battle it out in Rome before a crowd that includes Galileo, a Mary Magdalene, and a generation of popes who would throw the world into flames. In England, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII execute Anne Boleyn, and her crafty executioner transforms her legendary locks into those most-sought-after tennis balls. Across the ocean in Mexico, the last Aztec emperors play their own games, as the conquistador Hernán Cortés and his Mayan translator and lover, La Malinche, scheme and conquer, fight and f**k, not knowing that their domestic comedy will change the course of history. In a remote Mexican colony a bishop reads Thomas More’s Utopia and thinks that it’s a manual instead of a parody. And in today’s New York City, a man searches for answers to impossible questions, for a book that is both an archive and an oracle.

Álvaro Enrigue’s mind-bending story features assassinations and executions, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bawdy criminals, carnal liaisons and papal schemes, artistic and religious revolutions, love and war. A blazingly original voice and a postmodern visionary, Enrigue tells the grand adventure of the dawn of the modern era, breaking down traditions and upending expectations, in this bold, powerful gut-punch of a novel.

Game, set, match.

Sudden Death is the best kind of puzzle, its elements so esoteric and wildly funny that readers will race through the book, wondering how Álvaro Enrigue will be able to pull a novel out of such an astonishing ball of string.  But Enrigue absolutely does; and with brilliance and clarity and emotional warmth all the more powerful for its surreptitiousness.” 
Lauren GroffNew York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies

"Engrossing... rich with Latin and European history." —The New Yorker

"[A] bawdy, often profane, sprawling, ambitious book that is as engaging as it is challenging.” —Vogue
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About the author

Álvaro Enrigue was a Cullman Center Fellow and a Fellow at the Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies. He has taught at New York University, Princeton University, the University of Maryland, and Columbia University. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The White Review, n+1, London Review of Books, El País, among others. This novel—his first 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, and has been translated into many languages. Enrigue was born in Mexico and lives in New York City.

Natasha Wimmer's translations include The Savage Detectives and 2666 by Roberto Bolaño. She lives in New York City.
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Additional Information

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Published on
Feb 9, 2016
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Fiction / Alternative History
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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National Bestseller • A Finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize • A Finalist for the Goldsmiths Prize • Longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award • One of Time Magazine's Top 10 Fiction Books of the Year

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book • Named a Best Book of the Year by Time, The Guardian, BOMB Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Commonweal, Southern Living, NOW Magazine, The Washington Independent Review of Books, Book Depository, The Globe and Mail, and The National Post (Canada)

The stunning second novel of a trilogy that began with Outline, one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of 2015

In the wake of her family’s collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of this upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions—personal, moral, artistic, and practical—as she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city, she is made to confront aspects of living that she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.

Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed novel Outline and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility, and the mystery of change.

In this second book of a precise, short, yet epic cycle, Cusk describes the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee one’s life, and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.

Together in one volume, here are the first three novels in Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestselling Temeraire series, combining the gripping history of the Napoleonic era, the thrill of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books, and the excitement of Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring adventures. In His Majesty’s Service also includes an exclusive original Temeraire short story.

Capt. Will Laurence is serving with honor in the British Navy when his ship captures a French frigate harboring most a unusual cargo–an incalculably valuable dragon egg. When the egg hatches, Laurence unexpectedly becomes the master of the young dragon Temeraire and finds himself on an extraordinary journey that will shatter his orderly, respectable life and alter the course of his nation’s history.

Thrust into England’s Aerial Corps, Laurence and Temeraire undergo rigorous training while staving off French forces intent on breaching British soil. But the pair has more than France to contend with when China learns that an imperial dragon intended for Napoleon–Temeraire himself– has fallen into British hands. The emperor summons the new pilot and his dragon to the Far East, a long voyage fraught with peril and intrigue. From England’s shores to China’s palaces, from the Silk Road’s outer limits to the embattled borders of Prussia and Poland, Laurence and Temeraire must defend their partnership and their country from powerful adversaries around the globe. But can they succeed against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?

From the Hardcover edition.



  ●卡洛斯・富恩蒂斯(Carlos Fuentes)、安立奎.維拉─馬塔斯(Enrique Vila-Matas)、薩爾曼‧魯西迪(Salman Rushdie)、諾貝爾文學獎得主巴爾加斯.尤薩(Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa)重量級推薦

  ●淡江大學外語學院院長──陳小雀 專文導讀


  ●《紐約時報》、《紐約客》、《華盛頓郵報》、《洛杉磯時報》、《舊金山紀事報》、《華爾街日報》、《歐普拉雜誌》、《金融時報》、 、El País、Le Monde、The Millions、Thrillist等國際媒體盛情推薦



  ☆「一位非常成熟的作家。」│巴爾加斯・尤薩(Mario Vargas Llosa),諾貝爾文學獎得主

  ☆「阿爾瓦洛・安利格集各種文學傳統於一身,並駕馭自如。比起愛因斯坦的相對論世界觀,他的小說世界更接近普朗克的量子宇宙,並存的場域持續不斷互相影響,粒子可在同一個動作中創造與毀滅。」│卡洛斯・富恩特斯(Carlos Fuentes Macías),拉美文學大爆炸代表作家之一

  ☆「故事發生在歷史快速向前推進的關鍵時刻,網球的發展逐漸成熟。故事到最後超越了小說應有的框架。」│安立奎.維拉─馬塔斯(Enrique Vila-Matas),當今最具影響力的作家之一,《巴托比症候群》作者

  ☆「一本原創佳作。是我今年讀過最棒的小說。」│薩爾曼・魯西迪(Salman Rushdie),布克獎得主,《午夜之子》作者

  ☆「令人大快朵頤。」│馬龍・詹姆斯(Marlon James),布克獎得主,《七次謀殺簡史》作者

  ☆「讀《突然死亡》就像玩一場最棒的拼圖遊戲。各種神秘深奧的元素和爆笑情節貫穿全書,令讀者不禁好奇,作者究竟是如何從一顆不可思議的線球開始,創作出這麼一本小說。相較於故事裡的暗藏玄機,阿爾瓦洛・安利格更在書中流露出聰明才智、清晰邏輯以及人情溫暖。」│蘿倫・葛洛芙(Lauren Groff),《紐約時報》暢銷書《完美婚姻》作者

  ☆「『就像一場會跑的西洋棋賽,擁有優美而無限的強度。』大衛・福斯特・華萊士以他慣用筆調形容最愛的運動──網球時如此寫道。阿爾瓦洛・安利格滑稽且具有豐富見解的新作《突然死亡》,則以獨門之道詮釋網球這項運動,並引領到更輝煌的層次。他的敘述手法充滿娛樂效果卻不失睿智,非常高明!」│拉里•羅特(Larry Rohter),《紐約時報》資深記者

  ☆「以『前衛』來形容這本小說再精準不過。如同書中主角卡拉瓦喬的風格,《突然死亡》看似大膽魯莽卻充滿人道關懷」│加斯・里斯特・哈伯格(Garth Risk Hallberg),《紐約時報》暢銷書《City on Fire》(城市風雲)作者

  ☆「《突然死亡》非常幽默,是一部極為傑出的作品,我甚至不知道該如何形容它,這也是這部小說的特點所在。內容囊括了網球、歷史、藝術與荒謬等主題。不如說,這就是一本非常值得一讀的小說。」│莉芙卡・葛茜(Rivka Galchen),作家,《我們之間,大氣干擾》作者

  ☆「《突然死亡》是一本非常特別的小說。背景既屬於熱帶又橫跨了大西洋,風格極具現代性又兼具考古特性。這本小說就像一件文學利器,挑戰我們對歷史的慣常認知。不過,別擔心,阿爾瓦洛・安利格雖然文筆多變輕佻,卻是一位非常成熟穩重的作家。」│亞當•希拉威爾(Adam Thirlwell),毛姆文學獎得主,《Lurid & Cute》作者

  ☆「阿爾瓦洛・安利格可說是現今最傑出的墨西哥作家。這是一本天才之作。」│斯科特•艾斯波西多(Scott Esposito),作家




  ☆「阿爾瓦洛・安利格的小說飽富學識卻一點也不枯燥乏味,作者以富娛樂性的文筆描述眼中文藝復興歐洲和十六世紀墨西哥,包括反宗教改革、西班牙人征服阿茲提克帝國、藝術史甚至西班牙語的詞綴文法等主題。藉由對比天才與凡人, 成功闡述此時期的歷史教訓。」│《舊金山紀事報》

  ☆「一本爆笑、有趣又性感的作品。阿爾瓦洛・安利格將歷史人物化身成各個有血有肉的角色。《突然死亡》與其說是一本小說,不如說是一場令人如癡如醉的冒險旅程。場景設定在十六世紀,找來大家熟悉的伽利略、卡拉瓦喬、安・博林和科爾特斯等作為書中角色,卻大幅扭轉他們的形象。這本極具原創性的大膽小說挑戰讀者對歐洲殖民主義、歷史、藝術和現代性的認識。」│Buzzfeed評選 2016 年最令人期待小說

  ☆「墨西哥作家阿爾瓦洛・安利格在他這本狂野的超現實小說裡,虛構一場發生於十六世紀的網球賽,參賽者是義大利畫家卡拉瓦喬和西班牙詩人克維多,而他們使用的網球則是由遭斬首的安・寶琳的頭髮所作。奇特的故事情節就此展開。」│Newsday 日報

  ☆「如同網球場之於網球選手,小說既有其自身限制也限制了作家的行動。 阿爾瓦洛・安利格曾揶揄地說到,一本小說只需對自身的內在連貫性負責……若是等閒之作,我們或許會看到文字間的不自然,但在《突然死亡》之中,我們絲毫感受不到後現代主義作家的矯揉造作。 阿爾瓦洛・安利格字字鞭辟入裡,藉由文字揭露帝國玩的花招把戲,並映照出其所企圖建構的歷史。」│Bookforum





  ☆「大膽的敘事手法引人入勝,造就這本傑出小說」│西班牙媒體El País

  ☆「阿爾瓦洛・安利格能令讀者著魔似的閱讀近三百頁篇幅,探討歷史與文學的警世之訓。」│法國媒體Le Monde

  ☆「一部博學多聞、變化多端的作品。」│線上雜誌The Millions



  ☆「鮮少見一本小說如此兼具藝術性、喜劇性與文學性。有潛力成為一部家喻戶曉的作品。」│Flavorwire 線上雜誌



  ☆「阿爾瓦洛・安利格的最新小說難以定義……如果你喜歡非典型小說和引人入勝的情節,這本你一定會愛。」│Vol. 1 Brooklyn



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