Jerónimo Rodríguez Loera is, in appearance, a normal Mexican child, just like any other. But he also happens to be a monster. Jerónimo remembers every cycle of his reincarnations in detail and, with that, all human behaviour. Remembering his past lives, Jerónimo introduces the reader to an eternal game that involves many participants. Once the bridges have been firmly placed across the model of this novel-river, Vidas perpendiculares provides a different novelistic formulation: a quantum formula, where diverse times and spaces exist simultaneously. Only like this can the cavalry charge of a Germanic Cesar co-exist with the story of a Mexican gardener, the Neapolitan lover of Francisco de Quevedo and the Asturian agitator in Buenos Aires, the camel trains on the Mongolian steppes, the muralist who fails because of his extreme politics, Pablo de Tarso and the puppies of a Homo sapiens programmed to impose his DNA forcefully. And through this collision of realities a series of mysteries emerge: How did a young Turk, a weaver of carpets destined to be a Sanhedrin, invent modernity? How is that the greatest erotic poet was also the most disagreeable man of his time? How did we perceive the world before we had the power of speech?
"The narrative strategy of this brilliant author reaches a climax in pages that are filled with an irresistible, volcanic power; a section where the central protagonist has lost, or still has not achieved, his identity within the herd of the aurora of time... the original tribe who ran on the wolfs' steppes, half man, half animal, following their instincts and ferociously defending their leader, the only one of them who admits imitation" (Carlos Fuentes, El País).
"Enrigue is a marvellous writer, always on the look out for a felicitous sentence, intelligent and with a highly subtle sense of humour" (Edmundo Paz Soldán, Letras Libres).
"Like an astute chess player, the author moves through time, stopping when he discovers the emblematic points of a character with an uncommon personality" (Élmer Mendoza, El Universal).
"A novel as intense and original as its surprising" (Tomás Ruibal, El Día de Toledo).
"A book written with daring brilliance" (Notodolibros.com).
"Few writers with such fine prose know how to avoid reflection and intellectual symmetry to instead focus on narrative exploits" (Oliverio Coelho).
"In command of a sharp soul and a quick-witted narrative intelligence, Enrigue narrates in a non-linear fashion stories that, in advancing, always return to their source" (Martín Schifino, Revista de Libros).
TRANSLATION RIGHTS SALES
- France (Gallimard)
Álvaro Enrigue was born in Mexico City in 1969. He has been a Literature and a Creative Writing professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the University of Maryland respectively. Since 1990 he has been devoted to literary criticism, and has published his articles in several Mexican and Spanish media. He has also been actively involved in various editorial activities: not only he has been a literary editor at institutions as reputable as the Fondo de Cultura Económica and the National Council for Culture and Arts, but he has also edited and contributed to the prestigious Letras Libres magazine. His novel La muerte de un instalador (The Death of a Plumber) was awarded the renowned Joaquín Mortiz Novel Prize in 1996. In Anagrama he has published Hipotermia (Hypothermia) and Vidas perpendiculares (Perpendicular Lives). In 2011 Enrigue was selected by the New York Public Library as writer in residence for the years 2011 and 2012, together with Jonathan Safran Foer y James Fenton, after the publication in Mexico and Spain of Decency.