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Belletrista - A site promoting translated women authored literature from around the world

New & Notable
In these exciting pages we reveal a sample of New and Notable publications by women that have been carefully selected after we have pored over hundreds of entries in publishers catalogs from all over the world. Our aim is to bring you the most alluring reads from around the globe, so that you may further enjoy your armchair travels from the comfort of your home. This time, we've added significantly more covers and we've increased the length of the synopses given. All of us at Belletrista take pleasure in presenting these books to you in the hope that you will enjoy browsing through them as much as we have enjoyed selecting them. Go ahead; embark on an exhilarating reading voyage!


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Helen Oyeyemi

In a vast, mysterious house, a family is reeling from its loss. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, mourn her absence. And Miranda, with her sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her family. She is slipping away from them. When one night she vanishes, the survivors are left to tell her story.

"Unconventional, intoxicating and deeply disquieting" - Publishers Weekly

Picador (UK), hardcover, 9780330458146

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Mary Stanley

The Umbrella Tree tells the story of Helena Wolff, who grew up on a coffee farm in Kenya, together with her brother Horace. As an adult, she settled in an affluent Ireland, where her quiet and seemingly normal life in Wicklow is undermined by the tragedy and violence of her past. In this deep, yet often humourous novel, twists and turns culminate in a shocking and unexpected ending.

New Island Press (IRE), paperback, 9781848400481

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Anna Lawrence Pietroni

Cradle Cross in 1933 is a town in the heart of Black Country, England, still reeling from the Great War and dominated by a button factory in terminal decline. Into this exotically grim environment arrives a white-haired young woman from the coast named Isa Fly. Isa is a mysterious and magnetic presence who exerts a romantic pull on everyone she meets. Motherless, thirteen-year-old Ruby Tailor is instantly drawn to her, as is Captin, the proprietor of the local chip shop, a fifty-year-old bachelor and father figure to Ruby, and Truda Blick, the Oxford-educated spinster who’s inherited the failing button factory. As the reasons for Isa’s sudden appearance become less clear with each passing day, she is viewed with increasing suspicion by the tight-knit women of Cradle Cross who come to see her as the cause of the town’s accelerating misfortunes and ultimately fear her as a witch.

Anna Lawrence Pietroni, in her fiction debut, captures for the first time the dialect of Black Country, and the effect is utterly mesmerizing. Cradle Cross is a town out of time—battered by war and yet linked to a distant past, an isolated pocket of the country whose customs and views have remained intact since medieval times, where talismans protect loved ones and rituals can help wring away the grief of loss.

Chatto & Windus, 9780701184360 (February)
Speigel & Grau, hardcover, 9781400068685, (February)

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Maria McCann

In her second novel, after her critically-acclaimed As Meat Loves Salt, Maria McCann returns to 17th Century England, where life is struggling to return to normal after the horrific tumult of the Civil War. In the village of Spadboro Jonathan Dymond, a 26-year old cider-maker who lives with his parents, has until now enjoyed a quiet, harmonious existence. As the novel opens, a letter arrives from his uncle with a desperate request to speak with his father. When his father returns from the visit the next day, all he can say is that Jonathan's uncle has died. Then Jonathan finds a fragment of the letter in the family orchard, with talk of inheritance and vengeance. He resolves to unravel the mystery at the heart of his family - a mystery which will eventually threaten the lives and happiness of Jonathan and all those he holds dear.

Faber and Faber, paperback, 9780571251780 (February)

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Aifric Campbell

Haunting and humane, The Loss Adjustor speaks of grief, forgiveness and redemption. Caro is a Loss Adjustor, tallying grief for an insurance firm, and she finds relief in the fact that the human cost is never itemised in her inventories. The present is two dimensional for her, but history is loaded with colour and scent. Sometimes she tries to force a little perspective with a spare summary of event: Estelle died two weeks after her fifteenth birthday. It was sudden, violent, explicit. Afterwards, Cormac left and never returned. Now she waits for resolution, which comes in the form of an unlikely alliance. Aifric Campbell's second novel is a quiet hymn to childhood, grief and the redeeming power of friendship.

Serpent's Tail, hardcover, 9781846687303 (February)

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Margaret Forster

Margaret Forster, in this engaging, intriguing novel about a young woman and two grandmothers, uncovers the shocking truths that family history reveals. The curiously named Isamay, a would-be academic, is trying to write a coherent thesis about grandmothers in history - from Sarah Bernhardt and George Sand to the matriarchal Queen Victoria and other influential grannies - while constantly ambushed by the secrets her own family has been keeping. An only child, she is named after her grandmothers, Isa and May, who were there at her birth and who have formed and influenced her in very different ways. Jealous of each other, they both want to be first in their granddaughter's affections... Engrossing, set in the present but with hooks into the past, this is an unusual story about grandmothers and their potentially powerful role in family life, about nature vs nurture, bloodlines and bridges across generations.

Chatto & Windus, hardcover, 9780701184667 (February)

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Edited by Stephanie Tillotson

An anthology of short stories that explores the intensely personal relationships women have with what they wear; what clothes mean to them; why women choose what they do; how they consume fashion; and the subtle and sophisticated shifts in self-perception that the simple act of dressing can represent.

With image as the central metaphor for transformation, all these stories weave colourful pictures of humour and joy, love and friendship, illness and grief, of unfulfilled lives and ugly ducklings that discover their own ways of becoming beautiful swans.

Honno Press, paperback, 9781906784133

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S. J. Parris

Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.

In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.

Doubleday, hardcover, 9780385531283
Harper Collins, hardcover, 9780007317660