We are pleased this issue to present a new writer, Adam Haslett, who has won much critical and popular praise for his newly released debut collection. Haslett writes masterfully of loss and despair, and in "The Beginnings of Grief" - a powerful, gay-themed story - he traces the behavior of a young, teenaged boy who has recently become orphaned.
Englands Kate Atkinson, author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum, a Whitbread prizewinner, is one of TBRs favorite novelists. Atkinson deftly captures the mood and eccentricities of working-class people caught in the confines of their environment. In the short story "Inner Balance" she writes of a 35-year-old single mother from Perth, Scotland, who has some deluded ideas about a local doctor.
Also from the U.K. we have an extract from Stuart David's Nalda Said, which is soon to be released in the U.S. This short and simple novel won our hearts. We also have an interview with David, who was once bass player for Scotlands Belle and Sebastian and is now involved in the multimedia group Looper. Among other things, David, who has never studied writing, says: "Ive always felt that the only way to write is to read a lot and write a lot. And to rewrite a lot."
It is always our delight to present a first-ever publication by a new writer. This issue we have a story by Todd Sandvik from the U.S. We were drawn to this strong-themed story - an abused teenaged boys reaction to a violent car accident - for its sharp dialogue and excellent psychological perception; we think youll enjoy it, too.
Our Picks from Back Issues include Frederick Barthelme's short story "Driver" and Carole Maso's provocative essay in which she confronts the literary mainstream for its prescribed rules and conventional beliefs.
Congratulations to Maria Faidella, the winner of our literary quiz on Barcelona. Our prize is a copy of Raúl Núñezs The Lonely Hearts Club. Maria wrote: "Winning your quiz makes me doubly happy since it happens that I was married to Raúl Núñez for some years and through The Barcelona Review I learnt that Sinatra [original title] had been translated into English. I feel that this is sort of a toast to his memory."
This issues quiz is on Raymond Carver and we now have an easy-to-use on-line form for submitting answers. In doing a little research on the Net, I happened to run across the precise location of the upstairs medical facility where Carver was born. I had read of his birthplace, but it came as a big surprise to discover that I had lived in this exact spot (later turned into an apartment) in the mid-1970s. The town is small and at the time I lived there it was full of loggers and fishermen. I tended bar at a local tavern and had never heard of Raymond Carver, although by then he had already begun to make a name for himself. Ray was still drinking at that time (though he would give up alcohol before long) and Id like to think that he passed through town and stopped by my tavern. It would be nice to imagine I served him a beer or coffee and that we chatted. Ray would not have mentioned his writing. He would have asked about the fishing and maybe the local sawmill where his father had worked. I would like to think that perhaps we met because, as with so many people, his writing has touched me deeply. I continue to read and teach his work, and I urge any of our young readers and writers whove yet to read his stories to delve in and discover the magic.
Well be back around the second
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