The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction. with literary quizzes, book reviews and interviews
The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

 Welcome to issue 107. Our quiz this issue is A.I. in Literature. (If you haven’t read Ian McEwan’s latest, a treat awaits you.)  I mention this first because Garry, our tech/design whiz,  thought it would be fun this issue to play around with A.I. to illustrate our four stories.  As you’d expect, he got mixed results as can be seen in the “outtakes” that appear in the A.I quiz.  Do have a look – those pigs are quite disturbing! For answers to last issue’s quiz, Contemporary Latin American Writing Part II 21st Century, click here.

We are pleased to lead this issue with a story from North Korea: Pandemonium by Bandi, the pseudonym of an anonymous dissident, who managed to smuggle seven short stories into South Korea where they eventually got translated in English and sixteen other languages around the world. The work, set during the rule of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s first leader, takes the reader directly into the lives of everyday people, struggling to survive the totalitarianism of the regime. At times satirical, at times tender, but mostly grimly realistic. Don’t miss this rare glimpse into a world far from our own, a world no different today.

Next up is Sink Rate by English writer David Frankel. Beginning with a horrific event, the story moves inward as our protagonist tries to absorb what has happened.  Haunting, revelatory, and highly memorable.

For some good humor, we have Diggory Dunn’s Nosedive on Eagle’s Nest Ridge. Remember Gwyneth Paltrow’s involvement in a ski lawsuit? This isn’t that— and was written well before—but here we have a dispute concerning an incident on the slopes with a deluded  “defendant’” brashly attempting to argue his case.

And from Scotland we are pleased to present a debut story by Garry Vass, The Pig Was Finally Dead.  It was the time of year for slaughter, so one brother hauls a dead pig in a wheelbarrow to his brother’s house for butchering, but this year all is different. You’ll love the Scottish vernacular.

Lastly, we have Drought, a personal essay by Jim Daniels. Here we have the random thoughts of an American spinning round like the wheels on his bike as he pedals through the countryside of France. With thoughts flitting back and forth from a past grief to light, insouciant observations on all about him, it is moving in its meandering pace and vivid content.

One piece from North Korea, two from England, one from Scotland, and one from an American in France — another eclectic mix of good stuff.

In our picks from back issues— From the U.S. we have She Got Away  from A.M. Homes; and Prove It All Night by Jordan Harper. Two super stories from our archives. 

Our book review this issue is Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino, whom I had the pleasure to see speak in Barcelona last April where he was welcomed like a rock star.

Our next issue is due out in Sept. 2023. 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.

Jill Adams, editor
Michael Garry Smout, tech and design
Diggory Dunn, assistant editor #107

Readers:  Rachel Ballenger, Diggory Dunn, Joe Fitt-Palmer, Hallie Pritts, Milena Nigam and Sam Simon

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