The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

TBR 92

Welcome to issue 92. It’s a pleasure to kick off with a story by Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen, Homesick for Another World). She’s raw, gritty, at times grotesque, but endearing, too. In The Surrogate, a pretty woman suffers from perpetually swollen genitalia. We admire her coping mechanisms and her savvy in the role of surrogate vice president for a large Chinese company.

Next up is The Ancient Chihuahua byGwyneth Kelly, who won us over in a story about a rootless woman who bonds with a Chihuahua that was “beamed down from space in a satellite ray” just for her.   

And in Amy Henry’s delightful, if slightly unsettling, Consumer Planet (Caveat Emptor) we enter that Saundersesque near-future where the hyper-mall is back in fashion—so much so that consumers must book years in advance to enter.

And from Munib Khan comes Kurram Valley, set in the Pashtun countryside of Pakistan where tribal law still prevails. Khan’s sure prose and powerful imagery conjure up the stark beauty of the land and draw you deep into the lives its inhabitants.  It's another eclectic mix of what we look for—good stuff.

In our picks from back issues, we offer a short crime story by Anthony Bourdain, Bobby at Work. We all know what a splendid writer Bourdain was, but not everyone knows his fiction.  His talent certainly extended there as well, as you can see in this little gem from 2000.  Another all-time favorite story is Pete Duvals Fun With Mammals from 2014.  Be sure to take a look.  

Our quiz this issue is the Literature of Texas. Test your knowledge and you’re in the running to win a 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon.  For answers to last issue’s quiz, Literature of Arkansas, click here. The winner is Aalooran Rahman Bora.   Our book review this issue is Don’t Skip Out On Me, a new novelby Willy Vlautin, which comes recommended.   


Local News:   Spain’s prime minister has been ousted in a no-confidence vote called amid anger over corruption within the party. Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez, now at the helm, has appointed eleven women and six men to his cabinet, making it the first majority-female cabinet since Spain returned to democracy following the death of Gen Francisco Franco in 1975. The turnover marks the end of a period of direct rule in Catalonia by Spain's central government. Talks between Sánchez and Catalonia’s current president, Quim Torra, to take place shortly.

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Jill Adams

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