By Adam Critchley
MEXICO CITY: Mexican novelist Álvaro Enrigue has won the 2013 Herralde Prize for his novel Muerte súbita. The prize, awarded by Barcelona-based publisher Anagrama, is given to an unpublished novel in Spanish and comes with an €18,000 purse.
The novel, the title of which translates as “Sudden Death,” imagines a game of tennis between Italian painter Caravaggio and his contemporary, Spanish baroque poet Francisco de Quevedo, and which Enrigue has described as a novel “written in a bad mood, for all the things that have gone wrong” in our societies.
The all-Spanish jury was made up of Jorge Herralde, the founder of Anagrama and of the award, journalist and critic Salvador Clotas, novelist and critic Paloma Díaz-Mas, who won the prize in 1992; novelist and short story writer Marcos Giralt Torrente, and novelist and filmmaker Vicente Molina Foix, who won the award in 1988 with his novel La quincena soviética.
The Herralde prize has been awarded annually since 1983. Past winners have also included Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives (1998), Argentina’s Alan Pauls’ The Past (2003) and Spain’s Juan Francisco Ferré’s Karnaval in 2012.
Enrigue won the Joaquín Mortiz Prize in 1996 for his novel La muerte de un instalador. His short story collection Hypothermia was published in English in 2013 by Dalkey Archive Press.