Authors | Small-town football and the prize for fiction

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Link to AP article.Aracataca, Colombia | Literary ambitions of a local football team have outpaced those of this coastal town, home to Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. In March, a referendum will decide whether the name of the town changes to Aracataca-Macondo, appending the name of the fictional hamlet from One Hundred Years of Solitude. But lower-division side Macondo FC already had made the name change, along with a radio station and nursery school. “More than a physical place, Macondo is a state of mind,” says the author’s brother, Jaime. Yet some locals stick by the original name honoring Cataca, an indigenous chief. Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez has previously written about his passion for fútbol in his essay “El juramento” (see Jorge Pérez González‘s recent article in Mundo Deportivo), recounting a game between Atlético Junior of Barranquilla and Millonarios of Bogotá.

Update: Voter turnout in Jun 06 was insufficient to enact a change in name to Aracataca-Macondo, reports the New York Times (Simon Romero, “The Town’s Biggest Event since the Banana Fever Ended,” 7 Mar 07).

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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