Welcome to our 2001 World Book Day/Sant Jordi issue. As many of you know, these two events coincide on April 23rd, a day when Barcelona is magically transformed into a city of bookstalls and colorful flower stands. Lovers exchange books and roses (Sant Jordi Day having become a sort of equivalent to Valentines Day) and outdoor cafés are filled with people perusing their new books (booksellers report that nearly 50% of annual book sales take place on this day). TBR would like to offer some good reading, too, in the spirit of this delightful tradition.
Alasdair Gray, one of Scotlands best-known novelists (and a painter and book-cover designer), kicks off the line-up with an edgy and amusing little tale about some tough Scottish teens involved in a strange encounter with a deviant old man. American Thomas Glave - the second gay, black writer, after James Baldwin, to win the prestigious O.Henry Prize - shows his talent in the deftly lyrical "Whose Song?," a moving story that looks at the lives of three, black teen rapists and their victim. Canadian author Mark Anthony Jarman uses language in a fresh, beguiling way as seen in the tough and tender story "Cougar," where a middle-aged man encounters a cougar in the woods. In addition to these authors,TBR is pleased to present two new writers whose work impressed us: Ryland Greene (U.S.) and Jai Clare (U.K.).
TBRs web designer, M.G. Smout, received an announcement not long ago about prize money offered for "enhanced" pieces in e-publishing. He became curious to know what was out there and began an exploration on the Net. His informative article, full of relevant links, shows and critiques a few of the latest enhanced pieces - which simply means any text enhanced in some way - and leads to a discussion on the future of publishing and eBooks. Whether you are already familiar with this area or are totally ignorant of it, the article should prove of interest. It certainly generated some lively discussion among our staff. We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject as well. Send comments to M.G. Smout.
Inspired by his search, our web designer decided to update an early "enhanced" story published in TBR back in 1999: Matt Marinovich's "Slide Show" (a perfect example of an enhanced text, in case the term still eludes you). It is now available in a new Flash version.
Our literary quiz this issue is on Hemingway. Know which of his characters was based on the real-life Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky? If so, youre off to a good start. Answer all 26 questions correctly and win a free book. No winners for last issues Orwell Quiz (curiously, not many attempts either); click here for the answers.
For those French readers who have subscribed to TBR or may drop in, were pleased this issue to present Bernard Hoepffners translation of Robert Antonis short story, "The Tale of How Iguana Got Her Wrinkles" (TBR, issue 20), taken from his collection My Grandmothers Erotic Folktales. The collection was published in France by Anatolia/Le Rocher in February of this year. Originally published by Faber and Faber in the U.K., it is due out in the States in May.
See also book reviews, the ever-growing catalog of past contributors (authors listed alphabetically in Back Issues), and our Links page. You may also wish to look at previous World Book Day issues (just click on the pages to the left), where you can find a wealth of good material, including fiction by Felipe Alfau, Rachel Resnick, Carlos Gardini, Nicholas Royle, Lucinda Ebersole and David Alexander.
Good reading to all . . . and a happy Sant Jordi Day.
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Over three years' worth of short fiction, plays & interviews from such diverse talents as Douglas Coupland, Irvine Welsh, Pinckney Benedict, G.K. Wuori, Scott Heim, A.M. Homes, Alan Warner, Poppy Z. Brite, Laura Hird, Elissa Wald, Jason Starr, Brian Evenson and new kids on the Net like William Cuthbertson, Aimee Krajewski, Jean Kusina, David Alexander, Lenny T and Victor Saunders. This text is the link.