Eduardo Sacheri translated from the Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem

Papers in the Wind

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

512 pp

Trade Paperback

List Price US $17.95
Trim Size (H x W): 5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 9781590516423


List Price US $14.99
ISBN: 9781590516430

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 promise hasn’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.

Excerpt from Papers in the Wind

When Mono finished high school he had his future crystal clear. The next year they would offer him a professional contract to play for Vélez. In three or four seasons he would become the best number four in Argentina. At twenty-three—twenty-four, at the most—he would be traded for millions to an Italian team. Then he’d play about twelve seasons in Europe. Finally, he’d return to his country to finish his career with Independiente and retire on a high note. But the verbs Mono was conjugating in a self-assured conditional tense didn’t stop there. Once he retired, and in order to continue his association with the world of soccer, he would become a coach. He’d start running a minor-league club and after a few seasons of experience he’d make the t some point, before or after, as a player or as a coach—or better yet, before and after, as a player and as a coach—he would take Argentina to another world title, after defeating England or Germany in the semifinals and Brazil in the final game. He had dreamed of it so many times, and he had talked about it so many times—because Mono was convinced that you shouldn’t keep your great joys quiet, not the ones in the past tense and not the  impending ones—that his friends could repeat his future biography to the smallest detail. Fernando and Mauricio both saw it as a waste of their time, but Ruso would get really excited about it, taking on the roles of agent, masseur, assistant coach, or image consultant, de-pending on his mood. Sadly for both of them, when Mono turned twenty he was called in to see the secretary of Vélez Sarsfield, and they notified him of the only verb in conditional tense he wasn’t prepared for: he would be released, because the club had decided they had no need for his services.

“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.” —

“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