On Bullfighting

This book will be about people who risk death for a living. Whatever you or I think of how and why they do this, they are making that commitment every working day- a commitment which I am pointing out I know that I can’t equal… But I’ll give you as much as I can. I do promise that.”

Bullfighting- this complicated, repellent, fascinating, grotesque, sacramental, ugly, ritualistic, haphazard, and blasphemous fight. Hemingway, Conrad and Lorca are amongst the many who have written about it, now it’s the turn of acclaimed novelist A.L.Kennedy. Unpeeling the layers she looks beyond the theatre, the costume and the well-worn plot and focuses on the fact that a man faces his death while a crowd looks on.And so people are drawn to witness the ultimate spectator sport.

In this book A.L.Kennedy explains the mechanics of bullfighting and then dissects them with surgical precision. The result is a startling confrontation with mortality and an extraordinary work of literature.

Winner of a Scottish Arts Council Book Award in 2001

US and German (“Steerkampf”) editions were published in 2001.