A mixture of crowfunders, translators, book designers and the generally curious gathered in Housemans bookshop in London on Saturday night for the launch of The Football Crónicas. Guests could help themselves to a glass of Brazilian bubbly (we kid you not) before settling down to listen to co-editors Jethro Soutar and Tim Girven introduce the book. Tim talked about how the idea for the book came after he picked up a copy of La Eterna Parranda by Alberto Salcedos Ramos (author of the Football Crónica ‘Queens Football’) while on a trip to Bogota. A trip to Bolivia followed and a road blockade in El Alto (see Football Crónicas ‘The Goal in the Back of Beyond’ and ‘Football’s Strangest Kidnapping’) gave him extra time to read and explore La Paz bookshops, while an airline bankruptcy then led him to Uruguay via Peru and Paraguay, reading material picked up at every turn.
Clara Becker, fresh from her star turn at the Dangerous Times festival, was on hand to read from her Football Crónica ‘Congressman Romário: Big Fish in the Aquarium’ in the original Portuguese, with Robin Patterson then reading from his brilliant translation.
Tim mentioned what a privilege it was to be launching The Football Crónicas at Housemans (‘Radical Booksellers Since 1945’), a curiosity shop he’s been visiting for 30-odd years. We thank Housemans for hosting and would encourage everyone to buy the book through them.
The party then moved up the road to the Star of Kings, where the very talented Jojo Thomas read/performed ‘A Grenade For River Plate’, by Juan Pablo Meneses, and Simon Scardifield played Jackanory with ‘The Big Family’, by Vinicius Jatobá. The art commissioned as part of the crowdfunding campaign was on proud display and much admired, and it was a pleasure to see several of the artists themselves also in the house.
All in all, a terrific night. We thank everyone who came along and toasted The Football Crónicas on its way.