The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction
A Rose from Barcelona
Found in Lidl, Paignton —a perfect reminder of April 23 but, as can be seen, the Devon spring is not being very kind. If the plant manages to survive and bloom, the result will feature in next year's St. Jordi issue. MGS

¡Cómo vuela el tiempo!  TBR is now 14 years old.   St. Jordi’s Day (the day of exchanging books and roses), which coincides with World Book Day, April 23rd,  marks our anniversary.  Book stalls and flower stands line the Ramblas which is a sweet pleasure to stroll although you must start early these days to avoid the crushing crowd.  Naturally, English is hard to find as all the stalls are stocked with Catalan and Spanish;  but we’re always here as well, and we have a splendid line-up for our St. Jordi’s Day anniversary issue.  Diverse as they are, every one of these stories—just like my adopted city of Barcelona—contains wonder and surprise, which has been our measuring stick for fiction from the beginning . . .

In English author Tony Macnabb’s An Audience with Osama, the question arises:  How do you get info from a captured terrorist without resorting to Bush-Cheney barbarisms?  An imaginative solution unfolds, but carries ethical questions of its own. 

U.S. writer Susan Daitch (Storytown) is known for her intelligent postmodernist fiction which concerns ‘strange displacements of the ordinary’; in Debtor’s Prison, a harried woman working at a collection agency finds a most unusual name on her list of people to call.  

Three more from the U.S.:  Brett Rosenblatt’s Floater nicely captures the petulant tone and mood of a suicidal passenger on a cruise ship, taking all sorts of jabs at that industry along the way; while Russell Hehn’s Baby Jasmine and the Earthbound Hearse is a most delightful and unusual love story about an astronaut on moon and his sexy-beautiful wife firmly on the earth.

Last of all, we’re pleased to present the first publication of twenty-three-year-old Spencer Carvalho; his story Revolver Concert takes us to a rock concert with an edge like no other.  Do you dare?

Picks from back issues include Alicia Erian’s When Animals Attack; and Caroline Kepnes My Son, the Priest —two highly amusing stories with a good cutting-edge of their own.

What is it like to be brought up by Jehovah’s Witnesses?  Tony DuShane should know as this was just his experience, which he turns to fiction in the tender and amusing (and extraordinarily revealing) coming-of-age novel, Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk.  I put 11 Questions to Tony DuShane which he answers with the candor and grace that mark the novel. 

Our quiz this issue is Excerpts from 10 Top 21st-Century U.S. Novels.  Pretty simple if you’re in touch with what’s  happening State side.  Our winner for last issue’s quiz on Haruki Murakami is Jason Beerman.  Click here for the answers. A 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon goes to the winner.

In book reviews, we have Tony DuShane’s Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk (see interview); Connie May Fowler’s latest,  How Clarissa Learned to Fly, in which our winning protagonist throws off her confines and takes flight; So Much for That by Lionel Shriver, a ‘cancer novel’ with balls and edge that doesn’t require Kleenex; and a flash fiction novel by Nancy Stohlman, Searching for Suzi, which takes us on a round of strip clubs.  Winners all, this lot. 

Book DayLocal News:   A snow storm in March came as a surprise, but now the sun is shining and the chiringuitos are up at the beach.  The local government is about to decide whether or not to let bullfighting continue in Catalunya—something the Catalans are generally opposed to—but the scale seems to be tipping in favor of keeping it around.  Of course, Barça continues to rule the football pitches, and that’s about it. 

Our next issue is due out around the end of June. To be notified when new issues are available, you can become a fan of The Barcelona Review at Facebook (sorry, don’t like the tag, but that’s all that was possible), or email us, however, our bulk email is blocked from servers even though we only send to those who request it. 

Until then, we hope you enjoy our new line-up.

All the best from Barcelona,

Jill Adams

Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit organizatio

español | català | français | book reviews | TBR archives | submission info | TBR info | links |

©2008 The Barcelona Review