Javier Cercas weaves together major historical events with imaginative verve in his new work of non-fiction, The Anatomy of a Moment. The account is based on the political coup of 23 February 1981 – in effect the final act of the Spanish Civil War of 40 years earlier. Cercas describes in intensive detail the moment when Lieutenant-Colonel Tejero and his civil guards stormed the new Spanish parliament, with the outcome of the coup hanging precariously in the balance.
Cercas, author of the prize-winning novel Soldiers of Salamis, discusses the writing of historical narratives and takes questions from the audience. The event is chaired by Antony Beevor, author of The Battle for Spain