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.

Originally the brain child of Lois Ava-Matthew, Belletrista has been developed and honed with the assistance of 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.

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.

A majority of our content is freelance-written. Writers should note that we do not accept submissions of original fiction or poetry. We do not accept unsolicited material of any kind; however, if you think you have something to contribute to our magazine please feel free to contact us and inquire.

Belletrista acknowledges the early and continuing support, financial and otherwise, of the Matthew family, The Toadstool Bookshop of Milford, NH, 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...)

Tad Deffler spent the first quarter of his life (so far) moving around the world as an Army brat, the second quarter of his life acquiring degrees he doesn’t use, the third quarter trying to figure out what the fourth and subsequent quarters should be about, and the last quarter working for a long series of companies without ever moving his desk as his tiny software company got acquired by ever-larger ones. He lives in New Jersey but spends as much time in Ontario as he can wangle.

Simone Cornelisson is a composer and clarinetist living in New York City. When she's not working on her graduate studies in music, she loves to read great literature, which she takes as inspiration for most of her musical works.

F.P. Crawford studied Middle Eastern politics, religion, and literature and wrote her M.A. thesis on translations of Lebanese women‚Äôs novels written during the Lebanese civil war of 1975̫1990. 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.

Ceri Evans lives amidst the green green grass of North Wales. She is a family lawyer who prefers reading to anything else. She would secretly love to drop everything and open a second hand book shop.

Caitlin Fehir is an English teacher living in southern Ontario, Canada. Her reading tastes change daily, and she is constantly adding to her never-ending list of books to explore. Her new-found love is traveling, an expensive hobby that is supplemented by seeing the world through literature.

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.

Kieran Jack is a first year university student in Sydney, Australia.

Jane Anderson Jones has been a community college professor of Literature and Humanities for over 25 years. A resident of Sarasota, Florida, she has edited an anthology of Florida poetry and has done the usual academic writing and paper presenting. She's beginning to think about retiring to have more time to read and travel.

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.

C. Lariviere is a French-Texan who has lived in Japan, Spain and Argentina. An aficionado of languages (fluent in French, Spanish, English and Japanese), she is quick to pick up her suitcases to travel the globe and explore sites unknown. With her recent M.S. in organic chemistry she currently travels via books and awaits her next adventure. Her favorite fiction consists of Japanese and Latin American literature.

Cate Lombardo is an inspired reader of women's literature and fiction both contemporary and of the early 20th century. A passionate collector of Virago Modern Classics, she hopes, someday, to read them all. After years of extensive travel, Cate now resides in California’s wine country. She thinks all this reading is wonderful but would rather be exploring Egypt on a dromedary, harvesting tea in Java or sailing the Yangste in a Chinese Junk.

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.

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.

Belinda Otas is a London-based journalist, writer and blogger. She is interested in Africa, and is passionate about theatre. In fact, she is a theatre fanatic, and reads a lot of novels and short stories by writers of African descent, but sprinkles it with her love of novels and works by authors from different parts of the world. She believes that is what gives you the opportunity to experience other places and cultures.

Paola Sergi grew up in Genova, Italy but has lived in the United States for over twenty years. A voracious reader and devote bibliophile, she works at the Italian Cultural Institute in NYC and member of Belletrista's Board of Advisors.

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.

Barbara Steeg has worked in publishing for over twenty years, and is currently with Highlights for Children in Columbus, Ohio (USA). While enjoying many different literary genres, she is particularly enamored with books about the human spirit, identity and the collision of cultures. In addition to her life‒long love of books, she enjoys music, travel, rock climbing, and contemplating evil.