C o n t e n t s
readers and subscribers to our special World Book Day/Sant Jordi Issue,
which we would like to dedicate to Barcelonas long lost son, Felipe
Alfau. Born here in 1902 Alfau immigrated to
the United States in 1914 where he wrote (in English) his two classic
novels: Locos and Chromos, the latter nominated for the
National Book Award in 1990. Alfau was a writer far ahead of his time,
experimenting with postmodern techniques well before Nabokov, Barth
and Pynchon - writers
to whom he has been compared. For a look at the man, who sadly died
while this issue was being prepared, and his work, see the BRs
And for a taste of his writing dont miss the Prologue
and the short story extracted from Locos.
Special thanks to Dalkey Archive
Press for permission to reproduce the work. If you dont
already know Alfau, you're in for quite a treat. Alfau appears in Spanish
and French translations, and the BR is proud
to offer a first-ever Catalan translation
of this native son.
Another Barcelona native, writer Nuria Amat, is well known to the Spanish reading world, but, curiously, has never been translated into English. Were delighted to present an English translation at last of a new short fiction piece, and by way of further introducing Nuria we also have an interview, which she squeezed in a couple weeks ago just before leaving for the States on a speaking engagement at St. Johns College and Brown University.
Argentinas Carlos Gardini returns with a second piece for the BR, a beautifully written traditional story. From Argentina too comes short fiction by New York transplant Frank Thomas Smith (available in French as well as Spanish). Franks story came in a couple months ago and is one of those thats really been making the rounds among friends and friends of friends. Its funny, its different, and it puts a new spin on two well-known names that youd hardly expect to see under the same title. Last of all from the U.S., we have new writer Lee Klein, whose story about a young New Jerseyite at a weekend keg party contains the phrase "extraordinarily sensationally accentuated," which I never thought would pass by this editorial desk, but Lee held his ground arguing for his characters voice, and I suppose it could be - some kind of New Jersey speak...?
Poetry this issue comes from Cuban American Virgil Suarez who we were fortunate in tracking down at Florida State University.
We had hoped to have a Nabokov Quiz this issue, but weve had to move it to our next one, so stay tuned - a free book of choice goes to the winner.
As we are about to send this present issue up into
cyberspace, la Diada de Sant Jordi is soon approaching. This is the day, April 23rd, when
the Spanish exchange books and roses - the Catalan tradition that gave rise to World
Book Day. Here in Catalunya, bookstalls and flower-sellers line the streets in a
gala book fest. Over two-thirds of all the books sold in Catalunya for the year are sold
on this day. (For a peek at last year's contents, click here.)
So, in the spirit of Sant Jordi, here is our special offering for all of you...
Jill Adams, editor
The watercolors for each story were done by Danish artist Rebecka
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