The Barcelona ReviewAn electronic, bilingual, bi-monthly, English-Spanish Review of Contemporary Fiction, REVISTA INTERNACIONAL DE NARRATIVA BREVETBR Small Pressshort stories, bilingual, translations, poetry, audio, Catalan, Spanish, Castellano
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issue 45

International Review of Contemporary Fiction

November - December  2004

This issue we’re pleased to offer a new story by Barry Gifford, Dancing with Fidel (see also Holiday from Women, issue 43 TBR). The time is 1960, as a wealthy and mysterious man flits through the lives of a select group of unsuspecting individuals, giving us a glimpse of a strange historical interlude, one with lasting reverberations. "Things were not working out the way Mary thought they would," it begins, as Gifford draws the reader into a tale of intrigue.

Jamaican Colin Channer (author of Waiting in Vain and Satisfy My Soul) sets his story Revolution in the mid-70s on the fictional Caribbean island of San Carlos, where an aged and lusty eccentric colonial descendant still holds forth from his run-down hotel. Channer’s surprising prose, bursting with life, is a sensual delight.

Eduardo Antonio Parra is a Mexican author (Los límites de la noche and Tierra de nadie) who has made his reputation writing tight, tough stories about the back streets of Mexican border towns. In Just Don’t Take the Little I Got, translated by Christopher Winks, a local prostitute speaks of an encounter with the local cops. Author Alejandro Murguía writes: "Parra gives voice to the new underdogs of Mexican society . . . . and we hear their cry for a long time after."

In Treed, Benjamin Whitmer, a hot new voice from the States, cleverly depicts the turmoil of a young married man who feels burdened by both his family origins and his marriage; while U.K. writer Charles Lambert (resident of Italy; author of A Winter’s Child, shortlisted for the Lichfield Prize 2004 ) offers a moving story about a town councillor whose job it is to pick up a celebrity for a local concert.

In our picks from back issues, we have Emily Carter’s WLUV and H.A. Fleming’s Who I Was Supposed To Be, two excellent short stories from our archives in case you missed them first time round or would like to have a reread.

The winner of our quiz on Florida is Nancy Tarrington, a New Yorker currently living in Liverpool, which technically allows the quiz laurels to remain in the U.K. Click here for the answers. This issue our quiz is on Literary Lovers, those passionate fictional amours from classic novels. So have a go, and you may win a 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon.

As we mentioned last issue, TBR is pleased to have an interview in the recently released 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, an essential guide to North American fiction markets. Also appearing this year is an interview with Jason Sanford, editor of the on-line magazine Another TBR interview appears on-line at Web del Sol, part of a series of editorial interviews, including those with Katherine McNamara (Archipelago), Dan Kaplan (Black Warrior Review) and editor emeritus Walter Cummins of the legendary The Literary Review.

Don’t forget to check out TBR archives, our fiction gallery of previously published stories, listed by author. If you’d like to be notified when new issues are available (every two months), just send us an e-mail with ‘Subscribe’ in the Subject Box. TBR is a non-profit organization and welcomes donations, which go entirely to translation and maintaining the site.

Local notes: Like most of Europe, Spain was shocked at the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections, having felt that the 2001 election was an aberration, something to be set right this time. Many people here - and not only expats - stayed up into the early morning hours of Nov. 3rd, following the election results by cable TV or the internet. People took an avid and anxious interest, as much is at stake in Europe; and it was, and still is, hard to get off the topic of politics in the classroom or local café. From my Spanish friends I received dozens of e-mails of condolence, as if someone had died - and in a sense that is how it feels, as though America has lost something vital and essential to its existence: a sense of tolerance and respect for individual differences, and the willingness to maintain meaningful dialogue and interaction with the international community. When asked, as I repeatedly am, How could this happen? I tick off the presumed arguments and hasten to add that nearly half of America is asking the same question; there is comfort in that.

And in the meantime, on a different but significant scale, some comfort in art as well, I should hope, to which we wish that you might enjoy our current offerings. In response to an e-mail of mine, Colin Channer wrote from Jamaica: "We must smile. We must work. Overcome the devils with a thing called love."

Jill Adams


Jill Adams, editor
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