Home and Away
Writing the Beautiful Game
Karl Ove Knausgaard and Fredrik Ekelund; Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Seán Kinsella
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Two world-class writers reveal themselves to be the ultimate soccer fans in these collected letters
Karl Ove Knausgaard is sitting at home in Skåne 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?
Limhamn, 10 June
Dear Karl Ove,
Let me start off with a memory I have from 19 November 1983. I was in Paris devoting myself to my studies, living at the Cité Universitaire, writing...