The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction
Summer in the City - TBR 71

Issue 71 kicks off with a story by one of TBR’s long-time favorites, G.K. WuoriRegular readers are familiar with his delightfully quirky stories with ambiguous settings and unclear points of time, but always keenly relevant to today’s world.  In A Temporary Princess, a young woman held hostage somewhere by someone is able to maintain minimal contact with her father.  It will keep you glued to the pages right up to the final word.

Next up is Mesha Maren’s Eminent Domain, a moving piece with striking images about a woman seeking time and space to reflect on the unexpected turns of her life; while Joseph Hansen’s The Gift follows a young man at his keyboard, bored with his gift of report writing and eager to escape it in any way possible.

As a special treat this issue, we have three short pieces by three big names in Hispanic-American literature, all reflecting an aspect of Hispanic-U.S. culture.  Junot Díaz’s Alma takes the voice of a young Dominican boy infatuated with his girlfriend and her “big Dominican ass that seems to exist in a fourth dimension beyond jeans”; while Dagoberto Gilb’s Shout centers on an Hispanic-American construction worker returning home from work on a hot day to the wife and kids, and to neighbors who refer to them as “you fucking people.”  The White Girl by Luis Alberto Urrea looks at a well-known tagger who has recently adopted a disturbing tag.

In essays we’re pleased to have a second piece by Dagoberto Gilb, The Hexagon of the Conquest, in which the author relates his trip to Sevilla, Spain, to explore the Archivo de Indias, an extraordinarily large archive of the documents of the discovery and conquest of the New World, while he also ruminates on a miscellany of things, including his life-long love of libraries, a past trip to Mexico to the Paricutín volcano, and stories of Cortés, as well as Spanish café con leche and a trip through customs at our very own Barcelona airport.  A second essay, Josh CappsA Better Version of Me, is a personal reflection on his freshman season in basketball which includes a game with an alumni team and a former star that proves to be an illuminating experience for the young freshman.

Picks from back issues include Pete Duval’s Fun with Mammals, which is indeed fun; and Ann CumminsWhere I Work,  about that “difficult” sister.

The quiz this issue is 10 Super Bad Guys in Contemporary Literature.  Think Cormac McCarthy; think Joyce Carol Oates; think bad.  Our winner for last issue’s quiz on Excerpts from 10 Top 21st-Century U.S. Novels  is Laura Hird  (congrats Laura!).  Click here for the answers. A 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon goes to the winner. 

Book reviews include three big winners:  one anthology –– Sudden Fiction Latino, edited by Robert Shapard, James Thomas and Ray Gonzalez; one non-fiction work about the woman from whom the “HeLa” cells were taken –– The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; and one memoir –– Rupert Thompson’s This Party’s Got to Stop. Diverse and delightful reading for the weeks ahead.

Local news:  The summer heat continues to push down heavy on all of us (wish we could send you some, Argentina).  And big news for Barcelona: this July the Catalan parliament banned bullfighting in Catalonia.  Colm Tóibín wrote an informative article about it for the Guardian if you’d
like to read more.

And, oh yes, I believe there was some mention of a World Cup?

Our next issue is due out around the first week of October. To be notified when new issues are available, you can click ‘LIKE’ on Facebook; just search for The Barcelona Review; or email us.  The problem with the latter is that our bulk email is blocked from many servers even though we only send to those who request it.  Note: if you search Barcelona Review on Facebook, without the “The,” you will get the Spanish side of the site, which is completely separate from the English; it’s superb, so if you read Spanish, “LIKE” it, too, to get updates.

That’s it then.  We hope you enjoy our new line-up. 

All the best from Barcelona,


¡ Viva La Furia Roja!

photo: Rafael Gallardo


Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit organizatio

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

©2008 The Barcelona Review