The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

El Born area of Barcelona

Bienvenidos, lectores! Issue 88  has been long in coming, but we're back, and back with a bang. Starting on this side of the pond, we have two amazing writers:  Lucy Caldwell from Belfast and London-based, British/Jamaican Leone Ross.  In Through the Wardrobe Caldwell pulls us into the disturbed mind of a six-year-old who suffers deeply over a desire for a princess dress; while Ross nicely struts her imagination in The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant, showing the magical power of love. 

From the U.S. the award-winning writer Yxta Maya Murray offers a story in the form of a web entry on a Christie's auction house sale of a painting, written by a beleaguered copywriter who finds herself at odds with the house nomenclature. What's in a name?  As we learn in Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled (1975):  absolutely everything.

In The Eclipse Near Golgotha, Croatian/American writer Josip Novakovich shows how "We can never rely on a singular interpretation in our world of parallel and perpendicular and elliptical views and visions."  In this scenario an errant scud missile from Iran sets off events that put into question no less than Christ himself.

Barcelona-based Peruvian writer Ernesto Escobar (TBR's Spanish editor for 9 years) offers yet another alternative view of history, this time focused through the lens of contemporary journalism.  What if Che Guevara had not died in 1967?  #BoLibia explores the outcome.

And last up, a personal essay, Poison Lilies, by U.S. writer Lise Haines (Girl in the Arena). What goes into the making of a writer?  Haines shares a moving glimpse of her childhood in a broken home where much was lost, but something unexpected gained.

In  Picks from Back Issues, we share again Scottish writer Michel Faber's fabulous, award-winning story Some Rain Must Fall  while also from Scotland we revisit the gallows humor of Irvine Welsh in A Fault on the Line, a classic story, now 20 years old, which still packs a nice, nasty punch.  If you haven't yet read these stories, don't miss them now. 

Our Quiz this issue is The Name Behind the Name.  Do you know the code name for Scott Murdoch / Jude Garrett / Peter Campbell?  If so, you only have 9 more to go to win a gift certificate from Amazon; all names taken from recent fiction.  Quiz answers for War Lovers in Literature appear here.

Books reviews takes a look at young Irish writer Louise O'Neill's novel, Asking For It, which shows us the consequences of rape in the age of social media.

Local News:  Spain is still without a government and all is going fine.  Yes, at a certain point things will have to get going.  Funding for many infrastructure and government projects is frozen, for example, and no one is proposing legislation or debating international affairs while all is paralyzed, but for now no one is paying much attention except to enjoy the hiatus.  As some say, due to the corruption and scandals that have tarnished the two previous governing parties:  No government, no thieves!

The political calendar dictates a vote on Christmas day if no agreement to form a government can be reached by Oct. 31.  It would be Spain's third time at the polls, beginning last Dec.  So stay tuned.

Peace and love,
Jill Adams

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