The Football Crónicas is a not-for-profit book of football-themed writing from Latin America.
The book began life as pub talk between two mates (Tim Girven and Jethro Soutar), but quickly evolved and picked up momentum; before they knew what they were doing, they were in the thick of a major literary trend and being granted permissions to publish some of the most outstanding writing they'd ever come across.
At the the book's core are 11 crónicas. The crónica is a hybrid writing form that combines journalism and storytelling, and is sometimes called creative non-fiction in English, or New Journalism (as pioneered by the likes of Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Hunter S Thompson and Tom Wolfe in the 1960s). There is boom in crónica writing in Latin America at the moment, heralded by many as the Second Latin American Boom, the first boom having featured Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa et al.
A Crónicas First XI showcases the talents of some of the best writers in the business. Subjects include a prison team in Argentina, a transvestite team in Colombia, a kidnapped team in Bolivia; Quechua women playing in bowler hats in the Peruvian Andes, a Latino immigrant league in New York, Chilean hooligans on an away trip to Buenos Aires; there are stories set in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay – and Nueva Iorque.
There is also an extract from a creative non-fiction book, and a sprinkling of fantasy football with fictional short stories from Paraguay, Peru and Brazil.
A crack team of translators were recruited to to make sure the pieces are as beautifully written in English as they are in Spanish and Portuguese, and, like the writers and editors, translators provided their services for free, to keep production costs to a minimum and enable proceeds from the book to be donated to The Bottletop Fundation.
As testament to the tremendous quality of writing and translation, extracts from the book have been published by a number of prominent literary magazines:
A Grenade for River Plate in the The White Review.
Queens Football in Words Without Borders.
The Goal-Begetting Women of the Andes via And Other Stories.
The Big Family by Bookanista.