The Barcelona ReviewAn electronic, bilingual, bi-monthly, English-Spanish Review of Contemporary Fiction, REVISTA INTERNACIONAL DE NARRATIVA BREVETBR Small Pressshort stories, bilingual, translations, poetry, audio, Catalan, Spanish, Castellano
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issue 47

International Review of Contemporary Fiction

March-April 2005


This issue we are pleased to present a short story by Steve Earle, the well-known, alternative country singer-songwriter who has released more than a dozen critically acclaimed albums, his latest being The Revolution Starts . . . Now (2004), which has been nominated for two Grammys: Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance and Best Contemporary Folk Album; the awards ceremony takes place February 13. What you may not know is that Earle is also a short-story writer, and has drawn praise for his collection Doghouse Roses. As Jay McInerney says of him: "Steve Earle has taken the great American road song and set it to prose." It's a rough and rich terrain from which he draws, never without humor and always with heart. Wheeler County tells of a professional hitchhiker named Harley, whose story begins in 1978 when he finds himself stuck in the state of Texas.

Two other American authors offer diverting entertainments: Kathy Flann’s El Corazón finds a man who wishes to commit suicide and has chosen the men’s toilet of El Corazón Disco to do the deed; while Marshall Moore’s Urban Reef, set in Portland, Oregon, inadvertently involves a suicide as well as its two young female protagonists discuss the contemporary scene in the city while seated in the gentrified "wonderland of condos and cafés" known as the Pearl District.

Rob McClure Smith is Scottish although currently living in the U.S. Scots in Hawaii follows two young Scottish ladettes on holiday, and fills us in on some little-known history as well. You’ll love the voices.

Last of all, in translation we have a story by Argentinean writer Norberto Luis Romero, currently a resident of Spain. Snipers, told in the voice of a sniper wannabe, gives us a glimpse of a professional doing his job.

"Picks from back issues" draws on Laura Hird’s Routes, following a young Scottish boy on his (forgotten) birthday; and Irish writer Marian Keyes’s delightful send-up of yuppidom in Soulmates.

It’s a diverse offering—from the open road to the stylish world of the Liggerati, and points in between—the common thread being first-rate writing with perfectly pitched characters. I adored entering the world of each and every one.

Our quiz this issue is on William Faulkner. It is, in fact, our second Faulkner quizthe previous one having run in issue 18and was inspired by Jay Parini’s excellent new biography, just out and highly recommended. Numerous near contenders and four winners from last issue’s quiz, Literary Lovers: Leena Heino, Frances Gapper, Eileen Hobson, and Mary Agnes Noble. Names were dutifully written on the backs of grocery and to-do lists, placed in a tattered straw hat, and the prize-winner came up Frances Gapper from the U.K., who will receive a 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon. Click here for the answers.

Don’t forget to check out our book reviews and TBR archives, our fiction gallery of previously published stories, listed by author. If you’d like to be notified when new issues are available (every two months), just send us an e-mail with ‘Subscribe’ in the Subject Box.

TBR is a non-profit organization and welcomes donations, which go entirely to translation and maintaining the site. Most unfortunately our funding, as all arts funding, has been reduced to almost nil due to the city’s focus on last summer’s Forum exposition. As with most independent small presses not connected to a university or backed by a sponsor, we are dependent on donations to keep afloat and welcome contributions of any amount, none too small, none too large.

TBR is pleased to have an interview in 2005 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, an essential guide to North American fiction markets. Also appearing this year is an interview with Jason Sanford, editor of the on-line magazine Another TBR interview appears on-line at Web del Sol, part of a series of editorial interviews, including those with Katherine McNamara (Archipelago), Dan Kaplan (Black Warrior Review) and editor emeritus Walter Cummins of the legendary The Literary Review.

We hope you enjoy our offerings. Let us hear from you, and let the authors hear from you as well.

Jill Adams


Jill Adams, editor
The Barcelona Review

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