Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game




Two world-class writers reveal themselves to be the ultimate soccer fans in these collected letters

Karl Ove Knausgaard is sitting at home in Sk?ne with his wife, four small children, and dog. He is watching soccer on TV and falls asleep in front of the set. He likes 0-0 draws, cigarettes, coffee, and Argentina.

Fredrik Ekelund is away, in Brazil, where he plays soccer on the beach and watches matches with others. Ekelund loves games that end up 4-3 and teams that play beautiful soccer. He likes caipirinhas and Brazil.

Home and Away is an unusual soccer book, in which the two authors use soccer and the World Cup in Brazil as the arena for reflections on life and death, art and politics, class and literature. What does it mean to be at home in a globalized world?

This exchange of letters opens up new vistas and gives us stories from the lives of two creative writers. We get under their skin and gain insight into their relationships with modern times and soccer’s place in their lives, the significance the game has for people in general, and the question Was this the best soccer championship ever?

“Fascinating and complex insights into the way ‘modern football’ is manufactured and disseminated, the way it reaches into our lives and what we make of it when it’s there. . . . From the rosy glow of remembered childhood televisions-Knausgaard makes a lovely note about the sound, just the sound, of a World Cup game on television on a summer evening-through to the semi-political assemblies of lower league away days, football means something to almost everybody. For all its tribal allegiances, in a world where culture and politics have splintered into ever more segregated niches, there is undoubtedly something non-denominational about football. . . . What this book does is important because it thinks about football as a part of life, not as some specialist endeavour.” The Irish Times


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