The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

As we upload Issue 96, a good part of the world remains under quarantine. This is life now. As we await a vaccine. I adore how Italy has taken to singing from the balconies, and I love how Spain comes together every night at 8 to applaud the health workers on the frontline, many of whom have contracted the virus themselves. From our balconies, I have spoken to my young neighbor across the road for the first time—it was only hola and a smile, but I had never before seen her face.  And who knew that the reclusive neighbor above would accompany the daily applause with a drum? Sant Jordi’s Day, April 23rd—Catalonia’s big day when the streets are lined with book stalls and roses sellers—will be cancelled this year, but these modest rituals see us through.

So, too, does some good reading, so here we go. First up, by Bay Area writer Emil DeAndreis, is Lethal Lotus, an amusing story of our current predicament—life in the time of COVID-19 quarantine, where one’s priorities, were they in doubt, come clearly to light. If you have a love of craft beer and the brewery’s no longer delivering, to what lengths will you go to get it?

Next up is The Ones Who Stay by Kathleen Lane of Portland, Oregon. Sparks fly when a young girl fantasizes about a guy in her yoga class who soon becomes a live-in partner. But the relationship exposes a psychological crack. In only 900 words, the story homes in on the crux of it.

And from R.L. Maizes (author of We Love Anderson Cooper) is Collections. Here, 65-year-old Maya must now return to poverty after she suddenly finds herself out a job as the longtime helper of a wealthy man with whom she has lived “as a wife.” But there is much fun to be had in this delightful story, which involves a woman-loving handyman named Alberto.

Lastly, from Plymouth, England, is Speciesist by Anthony Caleshu. What’s a man to do when he falls in love, in every which way, with a consenting Rhodesian Ridgeback?  It’s probably not a question you’ve ever pondered, but as you might imagine—it’s not an easy affair to manage.

In our picks from back issues we have Fault on the Line by Irvine Welsh (issue 04) and Fish by Michel Faber (issue 09). Both are super reads.

Our quiz this issue is the Literature of Pandemics. 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 Illinois, click here. We had several correct answers; the name drawn was Owen Kilmer.

Our book review this issue is on Anna Burn’s Milkman, a Man Booker prize-winner, set in Northern Ireland during the time of the Troubles. Highly recommended.

Our next issue is due out this summer. 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

email TBR

issue # 96


picks from back issues

español | català | français | book reviews | TBR archives | submission info | TBR info | links |

©2019 The Barcelona Review