Papers in the Wind
By Eduardo Sacheri
(Other Press, Paperback, 9781590516423, 496pp.)
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
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From the best-selling author of The Secret in Their Eyes, an adventure about friendship, soccer, and good humor
When Alejandro “Mono” dies of cancer, his brother and two closest friends, a tight-knit group since childhood, are left to figure out how to take care of his young daughter, Guadalupe. They want to give her all the love they felt for Mono and secure her future, but there isn’t a single peso left in the bank. Mono invested all of his money in a promising soccer player whose talents haven't panned out, and the three hundred thousand dollars Mono spent on his transfer is soon to be lost for good.
How do you sell a forward who can’t score a goal? How do you negotiate in a world whose rules you don’t know? How do you maintain relationships when repeated failures create fissures in lifelong loyalties? Fernando, Mauricio, and Ruso pool the few resources in their arsenal to come up with strategies—from harebrained to inspired—in their desperate attempt to recoup Mono’s investment for Guadalupe.
Following the lives of four distinct characters, who, despite their great differences, still manage to find solace and pride in one another, Papers in the Wind is a tribute to friendship and proof that love and humor can triumph over sadness.
Eduardo Sacheri was born in 1967 in Buenos Aires. He is a professor of history as well as a writer of fiction. His first collection of short stories was published in Spain in 2000, and three later collections have become best sellers in his native Argentina. The film adaptation of his novel The Secret in Their Eyes won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the book was published in English the following year by Other Press.
Mara Faye Lethem has translated novels by David Trueba, Albert Sánchez Piñol, Javier Calvo, Patricio Pron, and Pablo De Santis, among others. Her translations have appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010, Granta, Paris Review and McSweeney’s. She is currently translating a novel by Marc Pastor.
“Like Hornby and Roddy Doyle, [Sacheri] excels at rendering the bantering, often adolescent exchanges of male friendship… this book is the perfect read for literate sports fans who are turned off by the excess of the World Cup, who don’t give a damn about golden boots and groups of death. Sacheri’s book is about failure and the ways that people cope with crushed dreams. It reduces the global sport to a human level, yet still acknowledges its flawed appeal.” —NewYorker.com
“A touching and amusing look at friendship through the eyes of four Argentine soccer fans…the clever ending... makes the tale worth the telling. Overall, the book is a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus
"In describing a world where players are commodities, whose value is talked up or down by a cast of reptilian speculators, Sacheri opens a fascinating window onto the game’s un-beautiful workings." —Times Literary Supplement
“An entertaining and affecting novel of friendship, faith, and sport.” —Booklist
“When Papers in the Wind by Eduardo Sacheri, a novel about soccer translated from Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem, arrived on my desk, it pushed everything else out of the way.” —Shelf Awareness
"[A] gruff but carefully detailed and ultimately affecting novel." —Rain Taxi
"Eduardo Sacheri is part magpie, part magician, patiently assembling bits of ordinary life and conversation until you feel nestled inside not only the Argentinian soccer world, but inside the four-way friendship at the center of the book. Papers in the Wind is a soccer novel that's not really about soccer, a beautifully written and translated novel that's not only about beautiful writing or translation. It starts with death and ends with the promise of life." —Brigid Pasulka, author of The Sun and Other Stars and A Long, Long Time Ago, winner of the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Award.
“A striking novel of loss, betrayal, and what it means to grow up and accept the responsibilities that life has a way of unexpectedly thrusting upon us, Argentinian author Eduardo Sacheri’s Papers in the Wind realistically captures the bitter lows and the extreme highs of male friendship as it explores the lives of three very different men who, like it or not, will be forever linked to one another by their childhood memories and shared heartache.” —Typographical Era
"A good read if you want to lose yourself in another culture and learn more about the quirks of Argentine soccer and the impact it has on those who enjoy it." —World Soccer Talk
"Papers in the Wind, like The Secret In Their Eyes before it, is an extraordinarily well-crafted novel. Disarmingly entertaining; wonderfully nuanced – it’s clever without showing off. Like a great soccer player, Eduardo Sacheri manages to make what he does on the field appear easy for the fans." —Book Sexy Review
“Sacheri succeeds like few others in giving his stories a universal dimension—the stories of ordinary people where the commonplace becomes epic.” —Juan José Campanella, Oscar-winning director of The Secret in Their Eyes
“A fine and inspiring novel, and you don’t have to be a soccer fan to enjoy it. But it helps!” —Hudson Valley News
“With his stories of soccer and descriptions of its players and fans, Sacheri reconfirms his previous literary merits: the ability to create environments with great sensitivity and narration, giving his words just the right tone, and suggesting that something is left unsaid.” —Revista Acción