The World Cup of Soccer officially begins today in Brazil. There is an opening ceremonies, which is weird, and then the first match of the day with Brazil playing Croatia.
Group C play begins later this week. The group consists of Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, and Japan. Here are the books that will be representing them this year:
Colombia- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “One Hundred Years of Solitude”
Greece- Homer, “The Odyssey”
Ivory Coast, Marguerite Abouet “Aya of Yop City”
Japan, Haruki Murakami “Kafka on the Shore”
This group is completely wide open. Both in the soccer group and the literature group. In the literature group, however, I would say that the conversation is really about who will be second place to Colombia. This year is all about the South American teams and Colombia is no different. They have put together a very strong team this year with one of the greatest books of the 20th century written by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Marquez is God in Colombia. At least I assume he is, or should be.
Greece is a total wild card, you never know what they’re going to do. This year they are fielding a team that includes a 2500 year old epic that (fun fact!) you can find in the non-fiction section of the library. I don’t know why that is. The Odyssey is the classic there-and-back-again hero’s tale. There are monsters and giants and ghosts and sirens. Expect Greece to put up a good fight.
Who here likes graphic novels? Everyone, right? They’re all the rage right now. There is something about words + pictures that makes everyone excited these days. Ivory Coast’s representative is a very cool graphic novel series by Ivorian writer Marguerite Abouet. This series tells the story of West Africa’s working class and the best part is that you can check out these graphic novels from the Edmonton Public Library right now. Check them out.
Japan’s team this year is completely bonkers. Nobody really ever knows what Japan is going to do in the World Cup and this year is no different. Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the Shore’ has talking cats and fish falling from the sky and spirits that do nasty things. Some people might say that Murakami is Japan’s answer to Marquez. Would I go that far? I don’t want to speculate on speculation.
My soccer picks: Colombia, Ivory Coast
My literature picks: Colombia, Japan