The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

TBR 90

Welcome to issue 90. We begin with a story by English writer Lara Williams titled Treats, which shows the beauty and wonder of a bountiful heart, even when so little is returned. The joy is infectious and will touch your heart—in the best of ways.

Next up is Last Words, a striking piece of flash fiction by US writer Alison Wellford, who somehow transforms the personal experience behind modern-day 'headline' tragedy into a powerful universal testament.

How would you like your every sexual desire to be met? In Perfectly Healthy, Perfectly SafeGuaranteed, SR Davies (U.S.) throws us into a slightly futuristic setting where satisfaction is guaranteed—but at what cost?

And set in New Orleans is Ferris Wayne McDaniel's Back the Other Way, where a young transient reflects on his life as he wrestles with the present.

Last up is Craig Loomis's The Date, told from the point of view of a little boy, delightful for its simple narrative, which draws us into the sweet joy of being young.

I love how Williams and Wellford show the connectedness of our lives, one writ small, one writ large; while I'm smitten by the innocent thrill of the boy in Loomis's story. And I adore Davies' tale, befitting of an episode of Black Mirror; while McDaniel's I admire for bringing the seedier side of New Orleans to life as he gives us a memorable portrait of the struggling narrator. It's an eclectic mix of what we look for—good stuff.

In our picks from back issues, we offer a piece by award-winning writer, Adam Johnson, Trauma Plate, along with a choice tale by Alicia Erian, When Animals Attack.

Our quiz this issue is Hip Hop & Literature. Test your knowledge of rappers and their sources and you’re in the running to win a 30-euro gift certificate from Amazon. For answers to last issue’s quiz, Transgender Fiction, click here. Our winner is Priyanka Dey, congrats!

Our book review this issue is Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh, a short story collection that comes highly recommended.

Local News: Our local news has gone international so you’ve undoubtedly read about it. But perhaps you’re a bit confused? That is because nothing about the events here is simple. Catalonia wanted a vote for independence and the central government said no. Catalonia held a referendum anyway, but it was not a legally authorized one (43% of the population voted yes while most no voters abstained due to its illegality). Negotiation between the two sides proved impossible. Nearly a month after the vote, Catalonia's parliament, on Oct. 27th, went ahead and declared independence (70 MPs voted 'yes,' 10 'no,' 2 blank, and 35 walked out in boycott of the vote). So Madrid followed through on its threat and implemented article 155 of the constitution which it claims gives it power to take some autonomy away from Catalonia for going 'rogue,' as they claim.

President Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet have been fired and regional elections have been called for Dec. 21st. On Oct. 30th Puigdemont fled Catalonia for Belgium. From there, he has said he will honor the snap elections in Dec. Meantime, several of his ministers have been taken into custody following their appearance before a High Court judge who is investigating them for sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds, while prosecutors began legal proceedings to issue an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont The arrests have incensed not only the pro-independents as no one wants to see this.

We are now accustomed to helicopters buzzing overhead and spontaneous street demonstrations, from both pro-independence supporters and those who wish to stay in Spain. There is tension in the air for locals, but tourists needn't worry for now. Just don't be surprised if a main thoroughfare is teeming with people and flags.

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