This is an archived issue of Belletrista. If you are looking for the current issue, you can find it here
Belletrista - A site promoting translated women authored literature from around the world

About Us

Belletrista is a not-for-profit, bimonthly web magazine which seeks both to encourage cross-cultural understanding through international literature written by women and to increase the visibility of that literature.

Belletrista is the brain child of Lois Ava-Matthew but the idea has been developed and honed by a remarkable international group of readers who came together as our Board of Advisors, each bringing to the magazine special skills, talents and education. Our initial group of writers and reviewers come from the US, UK, continental Europe, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa, a list that is expanding. A majority of our content is freelance-written.

We approach our mission as readers, not as academics or book industry professionals. Belletrista hopes to bring its unique view of women-authored, global literature to a broad audience of international booklovers, from the seasoned fan of world literature to the passionate reader who is just venturing beyond familiar literary shores.

Many of us, but not all, met on an international book cataloguing and social site called LibraryThing and have been discussing our reading with each other for years.

Belletrista acknowledges the early and continuing support, financial and otherwise, of the Matthew family, The Toadstool Bookshop of Milford, New Hampshire, USA; and the generosity of many of its writers and advisors.

Contributors in this Issue

Kathleen Ambrogi is an American who has spent most of her life abroad, in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. After earning her M.S. in English Education, she taught English, Social Science, Art and Information Technology in schools around the world. Today she is a professional writer, sharing her impressions of cultural forces through fiction and nonfiction.

Andy Barnes lives in Bristol in the United Kingdom. He is an avid reader on a mission to discover great writing from as many parts of the globe as possible. Andy works in one bookshop, and volunteers in another, and when he isn't reading or selling books, he is usually talking or writing about them.

Rachael Beale has spent much of her career to date experimenting with combinations of words and technology, either writing for technical companies, or doing technical things for literary ones. She graduated from the University of Cambridge's Trinity College with an M.A. allegedly in "English Literature;" actual English writers account for quite a small proportion of her reading, which tends to sprawl luxuriously across genre boundaries. She makes time to read and talk about books by not doing things that normal people consider essential (sleeping, cleaning, ironing...)

Carianne Carleo-Evangelist is a New Yorker who considers herself at home in cities throughout the world. When not traveling, she explores cities, countries and cultures through the pages of many books.

F.P. Crawford studied Middle Eastern politics, religion, and literature and wrote her M.A. thesis on translations of Lebanese women's novels written during the Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990. She later fled academia for the real world and pleasure reading. She enjoys all things new and currently finds herself drawn to Japanese and Scandinavian literature. She lives and works in the Washington, DC area with two cats, her sweetheart, and an embarrassing number of unread books.

Akeela Gaibie-Dawood lives in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. She enjoys nature and is a keen hiker. She loves books and the written word, and has a Masters degree in journalism. Her current reading challenge is to visit as many countries around the world, via books, as possible.

Rachel Hayes is a Brit living in Belgium. She reads a variety of mainly contemporary fiction, and enjoys seeking out translated fiction from areas of the world her literary travels haven't taken her to before. She attributes her interest in books written by women to an early obsession with Little Women, What Katy Did and The Chalet School.

F. T. Huffkin works for a London-based independent bookseller. She acquired a taste for modern fiction at university, where she produced theses on James Joyce and Toni Morrison.

Carolyn Kelly is a London-born Irishwoman who lives in Germany and works as a translator, writer and goatherd, though still saving up for the goats at present. She studied History in Dublin, which is really no excuse. She has an eclectic taste in reading, but doesn't like the word eclectic, because of the silly clicking noises it forces the tongue to make. Very undignified.

Amanda Meale is a music teacher who loves to read. She lives in Australia.

Tui Menzies lives in south central Ontario, Canada. She reads in a peripatetic and meandering way, which includes everything from books shoved into her hands with a "you have to read this" to reading over people's shoulders in public places. She has a M.A. in English literature with a specialisation in fantastic literature, having done her thesis on Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast.

Kate Morgan is a former professional in the law enforcement and emergency services fields. She is a voracious reader of a variety of books, both domestic and international.

Darryl Morris is a pediatrician who lives in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Half of his days are spent taking care of hospitalized children, and he uses his time off to travel in the US and abroad, and to attend jazz and classical music concerts, plays, museum exhibits, and author readings, whenever he isn't reading.

Charlotte Simpson lives in London. She reads a wide range of classic and contemporary fiction written by women and is currently focusing on Africa. She has a Masters degree in Modern British Women's History.

Andrew Stancek is a professional librarian, writer and translator living in Ontario, Canada. His current projects include work on his own novel, as well as translations of Slovak short stories and Czech poetry.