The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

TBR issue 83

Welcome to issue 83.  Five delightfully diverse stories in our line-up, kicking off with Epithalamium, 1989 by Fred Leebron (In the Middle of All This, Six Figures).  San Francisco suffered a major earthquake in 1989, and Leebron deftly leads us through the aftermath where fault lines are revealed beyond those of the terrain.

Next up is comedy writer Simon Rich with Semester Abroad.  The year is 3014, but not much has changed except that a semester abroad can mean the planet Saturn.  We follow a young girl’s diary as she recounts her trip.  Can she keep her boyfriend Derek who remains behind back on Earth?  She’s in agony but we’re laughing out loud.

Marco Verdoni in Immigrant Song gives us a telling portrait of a young Mexican who makes it to the U.S. with the help of a coyote only to quickly end up in Marquette Branch Prison in Marquette, Michigan, where the author himself was once an inmate.

Laurence Levey nicely captures the tone and mood of the southern backcountry in Helper, where a pool-hustler drifter does what he can to avoid trouble . . . until he can’t.

In The Faber Book of Adultery, Jonathan Gibbs’ male writer protagonist muses on how American writers obsess over the topic of adultery, making it the ethical question of the modern era.  But in this wired age, with apps revealing the entire family’s whereabouts, how does one manage it?

In picks from back issues we feature two superb stories—Dog by Pinckney Benedict; and Burning Luv by Steven Rinehart.

Our quiz this issue is on Daniel Woodrell.  Answers to the quiz from our last issue, Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Literature of the 21st Century II can be found here. Our winner is Aalooran Rahman Bora.

Book reviews
include Infidelity by G.K. Wuori, and Unaccompanied Minors:  Stories by Alden Jones. Both come highly recommended.

Local News. On Nov. 9th, Catalonia went to the polls in a vote towards independence.  Unlike Scotland last month, the vote here was rendered illegal by the state government so the voting went from being an official referendum, as desired, to an informal one; i.e., a kind of poll, what came to be called a “participatory process” in which anyone who wanted to could vote but without an official register.  Not surprisingly there was a good turn-out of ÝES voters, so Catalonia had its say, but that’s all it was.  You can be sure, however, that the push will continue as passions run high. 

Love and peace from Barcelona,
Jill

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