The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction


Welcome to our 20th anniversary issue.

Kicking off we have a story by English writer Kathryn Simmonds, When You Leave Walk Out Backwards, which explores the force of loneliness as it overtakes a young woman.  How she deals with it comes with a surprise.  In simple, straightforward prose, this piece pulls you in and carries you deftly to the end.

Next up is a fun story of boys, just under drinking age, in search of a high when their weed runs low.   If you’re a fan of Donald Pollock’s Pills (issue 63), you’ll find Jack Ravenwood’s Devolution a delight.

Scottish writer Des Dillon takes the reader on quite a ride in return of the Ned.  Apart from the Scottish vernacular, Dillon employs an unconventional style which perfectly captures the cockeyed world of the ned and the two hard-ass girls he has haplessly tried to rob.  

Turning to Madrid, the home of U.S. writer Lawrence Schimel, we have seven gay erotic microfictions set in his adopted city and other areas of Spain.  These enjoyable shorts cover everything from how to pick up a strange guy sitting with a partner at an outdoor café to feigning an interest in dogs to secure a hookup.  Originally written in Spanish, we offer here an exclusive English translation.

In memoir, it’s a pleasure to release an excerpt from singer Laura Jane Grace’s new book, Tranny.  Lead singer of the punk band Against Me!, she lived her first 33 years as Tom Gabel, coming out as transgender in 2012.  What that was like, then and now, is chronicled in searing honesty (see book review).

And last up an essay by Josip Novakovich, Zidane the Ram, which shows the pleasure and pain of having a rambunctious, head-butting ram as a family pet, which throws the family in a moral quandary.

In our picks from back issues, we offer some humor in Simon Rich’s Semester Abroad (as in Saturn!) along with a choice tale by Nelly Reifler, Personal Foundations of Self-Forming Through Auto-Identification with Otherness. 

Book reviews cover two memoirs: Connie May Fowler’s A Million Fragile Bones, centering around the devastating 2010 BP oil spill; and Laura Jane Graces Tranny, mentioned above.

Our quiz this issue is Transgender Fiction, inspired by Laura Jane Grace. Winner to receive a 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon.  For answers to last issue’s quiz, The Name Behind the Name, click here

Local News:   Barcelona is gearing up for its big Primavera Sound festival, 3 days of music in the open air by the sea, with such groups as Against Me!, Arcade Fire, Frank Ocean, Solange, Run the Jewels, The xx, Aphex Twin, Sampha, Bon Iver, Skepta, Grace Jones, Van Morrison, and a slew of others.

 Our next issue is due out in August.  To be notified when new issues are available, just ‘LIKE’ The Barcelona Review on Facebook (for the Spanish, LIKE Barcelona Review without the THE); or email us to subscribe (gratis, of course), though often our bulk email is blocked from servers so we cannot guarantee a notification.

Peace and love,
Jill Adams

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