cover image Rain Over Madrid

Rain Over Madrid

Andr%C3%A9s Barba, trans. from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. Hispabooks (, $15.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-84-942284-7-6

In Barba's collection of four novella-length stories, intense loneliness and desire guide an alienated cast of characters. In "Fatherhood," a Madrid musician recognizes his inability to communicate with his estranged son. In the claustrophobic "Guile," a middle-aged woman is weighed down by memories as she cares for her elderly mother. A young woman's emerging sexuality clashes with her father's womanizing in "Fidelity." And, in "Shopping," a daughter emotionally stunted by the tyranny of her mother recognizes and identifies with the helplessness of an apprehended shoplifter. What isn't said is as important as what is in these poignant depictions of repression and guilt%E2%80%94each of the four stories illuminates the others. With exquisite craftsmanship, Barba captures existential mystery in seemingly banal moments of domestic strife, family tension, and romantic entanglements. (Aug.)