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 56

International Review of Contemporary Fiction

November - December 2006


Bernard MacLaverty
A Trusted Neighbour

Laura Hird

Mike Lubow
Phil in the Elevator

 picks from back issues tbr christmas stories

Deirdre Heddon
Still Life

Laura Hird
The Happening

Mark Anthony Jarman


Bernard MacLaverty
by Dave Fernandes


American Literature and Culture of the 1970s

Answer to last issue's quiz, Chaucer

book reviews

Carry Me Down
M.J. Hyland

The Prone Gunman
Jean-Patrick Manchette

Don’t forget to check out the TBR Archives, our fiction gallery of previously published stories, listed by author and now, by issue. 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.

Anyone curious about the origins and aims of TBR can read an on-line interview at Web del Sol or check out another interview that appears in the 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, an essential resource for writers looking for markets.

Remember that TBR is dependent on donations, all tax deductible. If you like what you get and can spare a little contribution, it would be most welcome, whatever the amount. And drinks on us if you get to Barcelona!

The Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit cultural association.
Donations are always welcome

Welcome to issue 56 and apologies for our delay. I have been working from cramped seats on various flights, from my father's computer on the sunny gulf in Florida, and now from my sister's laptop in Louisville, Kentucky, where I'm experiencing my first real winter in over 20 years. Our web designer is currently in the English Midlands working from the local library, the only place he can get broadband access, while getting to grips with coding CSS. Though we've been slowed down, we're online at last.   A fine line-up, too. 

We lead with A Trusted Neighbour by the award-winning Irish-born author, Bernard MacLaverty. How well can one trust a neighbour in the mixed Catholic/Protestant neighbourhood of Northern Ireland? The author knows well of what he speaks and here explores the delicate area of trust while beautifully capturing the day-to-day rhythms of ordinary life. We are also pleased to have an in-depth interview with the author, conducted last month by Dave Fernandes in Glasgow where MacLaverty currently resides.

Also from Scotland we have a new piece by TBR favorite, Laura Hird. In Victims a young girl caught in a dead-end life finds escape and power by doing the nasty. And don't miss Hird's story The Happening in picks from back issues, which is a classic portrayal of overdoing drink and festivities at the Christmas office party.

Mike Lubow from the US offers Phil in the Elevator, which shows what flashes through a young man's head while riding an elevator in a hospital, "a dork holding a big ugly pot of tall flowers and a balloon." A TBR staff member in Oregon, Leah Darr, who caught the story, cited the moose section as worth the read alone. How does a moose enter the picture? Quite easily, as it turns out.

Picks from back issues, in addition to Hird's, include two other entertaining Christmas stories: Still Life by Deirdre Heddon (Scotland), and Cougar by Mark Anthony Jarman (Canada). For those who like a cutting edge in tales of the yuletide.  

We had five winners on our Chaucer Quiz from last issue, females all, so had to draw for the prize of a gift certificate, and the prize-winner came up Liz Guill from France. The others who correctly answered the questions were Janice Beal, Jane Willis, Susanne Milward and Jan Dixcey.   This issue's quiz is on American Literature and Culture of the 1970s. Know which bestselling novel began with the line "What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?"   If so, you're off to a good start.

Book reviews include Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland, shortlisted for this year's Booker Prize; and a crime novel from France, The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

Local news:   I'm usually reporting from Barcelona, but on this family visit to the States I can say the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico are as lovely as ever; and Louisville, Kentucky, rocks.   I didn't know Louisville - home of the Kentucky Derby - but have enjoyed exploring Bardstown Road (lunch at Café 360; dinner at Ramsi's Café of the World), among other parts of the city.   Also discovered that baseball bats are made at Louisville Slugger, which boasts a giant bat sculpture out front.   People like bumper stickers here, and if that is any indication, it shows the cross-section of politics that comprise Middle America, which is as varied as national statistics.   My sis and I would wince at one, thank god for another, and then wonder why people felt possessed to plaster their cars with slogans in the first place.   Other cultural oddities striking one who has lived abroad for 19 years:   shoe stores where one can sing for a discount; churches on every corner (were they always there?); friendly sales clerks and wait staff; free water and refills on coffee and often soft drinks;   drive-through liquor stores; and queuing up at the fair ground for a drive-through flu shot.   What a country; I love it.    It's been a fun trip, always an eye-opener, and I have discovered some new writers along the way whom I hope to present in future issues.

Hope you enjoy our current offerings.   Let us know your thoughts.   See you again around mid-January. Signing off from the home of Colonel Sanders, Mohamnad Ali, Diane Sawyer, Hunter S. Thomson, Gus Van Sant, and my wonderful sis, Julie . . .   

See you next in mid-January. Click here if you'd like to be notified when new issues are online.

Jill Adams



Jill Adams, editor    
The Barcelona Review   

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