The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

tbr 91 image of painted wall

Welcome to issue 91. We’re very pleased to be the first to publish new writer Ken Sandbank, whose story Bereft shows what happens to a guy when his girlfriend walks out on him—and takes his skin along with her. It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t lack humor.

Next up is The Samaritan by Bob Johnson, who offers a gripping story in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor, but in a voice all his own. What happens when a good Samaritan stops to pick up a dubious couple in the middle of nowhere?  You’ll want to know.

In Barbara Bottner’s delightful story The Cartoon Wife we follow the trials and tribulations of a woman whose husband has an addiction to spending huge sums of money on race horses.  Until she decides it’s time for a change.   

From Thomas Price comes Waiting, a haunting look at a concrete wall, at men lined up alongside it, and the harsh realities of their existence.  Who they are and presumably why they are there is chilling. 

And from Scotland, Thomas Malloch’s For the Good of  My Health homes in on a young woman frantically working out in her gym.  Find out what pushes her. 

It's an eclectic mix of what we look for—good stuff.

In our picks from back issues, we offer The Frenchman  by Seth Fried, winner of two Pushcart Prizes and the William Peden Prize; along with a choice tale by Jodi Angel, Catch the Grey Dog.   

Our quiz this issue is the literature of Arkansas.  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, Hip Hop & Literature, click here. Our winner this time round is Aalooran Rahman Bora.  A big congrats. 

Our book review this issue is Gravesend, a new novel by William Boyd, which comes highly recommended.    

Local News:  Catalonia continues to be under the direct control of the Spanish government which took over at the end of October when President Carles Puigdemont was sacked over his unilateral declaration of independence. Puigdemont fled to Brussels shortly afterwards and faces arrest on possible charges of rebellion, sedition and misuses of public funds if he returns to Spain. Fresh elections were held on Dec. 21st.  Although a party not in support of independence won the most votes, it did not have a majority, which was formed by a pact of pro-independent parties.  Puigdemont, who was allowed to run as candidate, cannot return, however, as he would be arrested.  He is, therefore, being asked by pro-independence party ERC to end his bid for the Catalan premiership and to instead accept a symbolic leadership position without any legal powers.  By offering this alternative, the ERC hopes to move forward with a new candidate and end the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which is what stripped the region of its autonomous powersPuigdemont has admitted privately that his attempt to secure regional independence is over and claims he has been sacrificed by his own side. And this is where we are. 

In other news:  Primavera Sound boasts a smashing line-up this year:  Arctic Monkeys, Björk, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The National, Lorde, Migos, A$AP Rocky, Lykke Li and Jane Birkin, to name a few of the many.  And Pearl Jam comes to Barcelona in July.  It is a good time to kick back and lose oneself in the music. 

Our next issue is due out in April. 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.

 

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