Blog (32)

DF Dispatch

From Mexico City, co-editor Tim Girven uncovers the perfect mascot for our book:
The Latin American Camus

Whenever a conversation touches on literature and football, it's a commonplace to cite Albert Camus and his time as a goalkeeper for Racing Universitaire d'Alger juniors.


A Celebration of Crude Words

As part of the CLAW (Contemporary Latin American Writing) Festival this week, we'll be having a little celebration of Crude Words. Join the editors and translators to discuss contemporary Venezuelan writing.

When: Saturday 8th July @ 3:30pm 

Where: The Cervantes Theatre, Old Union Street Arches, 229 Union Street, Southwark, London

At 5.30, there'll be a performance of co-editor Montague Kobbé's play Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges - find out more at


From Rio to River Plate

The Free Word Centre in London played host to a joint book-launch event on Monday night, as The Football Crónicas and The Book of Rio (from Comma Press) shared the stage. Lucy Greaves, the centre’s translator in residence, chaired a discussion that featured Toni Marques, co-editor of The Book of Rio, and Jethro Soutar, co-editor of The Football Crónicas. Jethro had also translated one of the pieces in The Book of Rio, a collection of Rio-themed short stories, as had Lucy.

The trio were joined by... an empty chair. Diego Trelles Paz had finally overcome the visa troubles that had kept him away from Monday’s The Football Crónicas Cambridge event, but was nowhere to be seen. The Free Word Centre is home to English PEN and it is a PEN initiative to use empty chairs to symbolise persecuted writers around the world. In Diego’s case, it was nothing more sinister than the British weather and traffic conspiring against him, but his absence was an opportunity to reflect on imprisoned writers everywhere.

Lucy got the ball rolling by asking Jethro how The Football Crónicas came about. He talked about the initial idea, the crowdfunding campaign and setting up a publisher, as can be read on the Free Word blog here.

Toni then talked about the Rio book and how he set about choosing the authors, seeking variation in backgrounds and subject matter.

A sudden moment of drama then saw Diego come bounding down the stairs and onto stage, making his apologies before providing a bit of background to his story, ‘Football and Plague’ - a tale of a hijack-gone-wrong played out to the backdrop of radio commentary of the 2000 Peruvian league-title showdown between Universitario and Sporting Cristal - before joining Jethro (the story’s translator) and Tim Girven (co-editor of The Football Crónicas) to read from it.

Toni and Lucy then read (Toni in Portuguese; Lucy from her English translation) before a flurry of questions from the audience – including one from Jan Rocha, co-writer of Brazil Inside Out, from the Latin America Bureau – led to book signings and drinks in the next room.

It was an engaging evening and The Football Crónicas would like to thank the Free Word Centre for organising the event and Lucy and Katie Slade (Comma Press) for the invitation.


World Cup Draw Day

It's said that a Brazilian passport is valued second only to a US passport on the black market, because you can basically come from anywhere in the world and look Brazilian. The country has an indigenous Amerindian population alongside legacies of European colonialism and black slavery; it has the largest population of Japanese ancestry outside Japan, hosts the biggest Oktoberfest outside Germany, has more people of Lebanese or Syrian extraction than the populations of Lebanon and Syria combined, and vast numbers of second and third generation Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese.


The Football Crónicas enters the academic pantheon

Christian Schwartz, the Brazilian translator of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, attended the Cambridge launch of The Football Crónicas on Monday night.  Christian was in town from the University of São Paulo, to give a lecture entitled ‘Football in Translation: National Languages and Styles of Play in Argentinean Press Reports of the 1920s’. He began his discourse by quoting from Tim Vickery's foreword to The Football Crónicas, that 'Football is a universal language that we speak with different accents'. He went on to talk about the influence of language in establishing different playing styles, particularly in relation to Spanish, Italian and English in Argentina. Returning to Vickery's foreword, Christian explained how most Brazilians never saw footage of Brazil's early World Cup triumphs: they relied on radio match commentaries, commentaries that were highly imaginative and embelished, but that Brazilian players nevertheless had to live up to on the pitch afterwards. Perhaps having to try to replicate such impossible feats forced Brazilian footballers to attempt the extraordinary; perhaps the words of the radio commentators shaped Brazil's adventurous playing style. Christian's research and conclusions will be presented in late 2014 and promise to make rewarding reading.


Wem-ber-ley! Wem-ber-ley!

The Football Crónicas went to Wembley on Friday night for England versus Peru. The game wasn't exactly a cracker (the biggest cheers of the night came whenever a paper aeroplane landed on the pitch, inside the area, and finally, gloriously, struck a player) but it had its moments and there was a good atmosphere with a sizeable Peruvian contingent. 

The Football Crónicas were guests of Philosophy Football and thank them for a enjoyable evening.


The Football Crónicas makes World Cup debut

The Football Crónicas was at the quarter-finals of the World Cup for Netherlands-Costa Rica this week (thanks to John O'Connor for the photo).

Meanwhile, When Saturday Comes published a piece on Costa Rica by Surya Lecona Moctezuma and translated by Ruth Clarke, the same team who brought you Football Crónica Chapter 6, 'Costa Nica: The Latin American Dream'.


Refugees Worldwide Pre-purchase Campaign

We will soon be publishing Refugees Worldwide, a wonderful collection of writing on displaced people around the world. Leading writers – including Mohammed Hanif (A Case of Exploding Mangoes), Ece Temelkuran (The Women Who Blow on Knots), Najat El Hachmi (The Last Patriach) and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Season of Crimson Blossoms) – provide insightful works of narrative non-fiction and reset the balance on a global refugee crisis that is too often viewed through Eurocentric eyes. Proceeds from the book will be donated to Refugees International.

Ragpicker Press is small and independent and we have to be innovative to fund our projects. In order to finance the first print run of Refugees Worldwide we need to pre-sell 100 copies. It's a straightforward campaign, £10 to pre-purchase one copy of the book, but as a special offer you can have The Football Crónicas half-price (so £15 for Refugees Worldwide and The Football Crónicas) and Crude Words at a discount (so £20 for Refugees Worldwide and Crude Words, and £25 for all three.)

To pre-purchase Refugees Worldwide simply click on the Paypal button below. If you'd prefer to do a bank transfer or if you want to take advantage of one of the special offers, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (or my personal email if you know me and know that) for further instructions. We aim to have the books printed in early September and posted out by the end of the month.

We'll run the campaign until we reach our goal and we'll update the number of copies sold on a daily basis. Current total: 1/100


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