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
photo of Lia Levi photo of Asa Larsson photo of Patricia Grace

Meet Italy's Award-winning author Lia Levi in this interview with Paola Sergi.

Fifteen years old and All Grown Up? Rachael Beale takes us on an Orange Prize retrospective journey.

In Praise of New Zealand's Patricia Grace

Welcome to our fourth issue, and a further excursion into the wonderful world of literature! This time we feature an interview with Italy's celebrated Lia Levi, and we also introduce the works of Patricia Grace from New Zealand, Assia Djebar from Algeria, and two new authors, Maaza Mengiste and Nadifa Mohamed, from East Africa. Our very own Rachael Beale talks to some of the women behind the British Orange Prize in a retrospective piece. And just in case you don't have enough to read, we present 22 reviews of books by authors representing 17 different countries. Finally, we've included more than 60 original and distinctive titles from around the globe in the New and Notable section, for your browsing pleasure. We have thoroughly enjoyed producing this issue for you, and hope that you'll relish it!

Below is a small tantalizing selection of this month's reviews....
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Herta Müller
Translated from the German by Martin Chalmers

In this novella, Herta Müller paints a bleak picture of life in Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania, a world where men drink their paychecks away, striking miners are sent to freeze at a mountaintop sanatorium, and women prostitute themselves to survive or escape.

Reviewed by Simone Cornelisson
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Ami Sakurai
Translated from the Japanese by Steven Clark

Innocent World may be a novella, but it generates the amount of discussion typical of tome-like novels or series. Its edgy content and even edgier messages led it to be passed around my workplace like contraband...

Reviewed by Caitin Fehir
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Anna Lawrence Pietroni

Thirteen year old Ruby is growing up in Cradle Cross in the Black Country during the 1930s. It was an industrial but also rural part of England, dependent on the canal system for its trade.

Reviewed by Charlotte Simpson
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Lori Ann Bloomfield

Troubles plague the lives of the people of Walvern, a fictitious Canadian town rife with gossip, superstition, and scandal. However, alongside these troubles lies a story of hope, and the love a person can find amidst rejection.

Reviewed by Caitlin Fehir
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Fariba Vafi
Translated from the Persian by Mahnaz Kousha and Nasrin Jewell

Books written by Middle Eastern women are commonly selected for translation into English because they contain elements both familiar and exotic: through their struggles with oppressive religio-political systems or dangerous intercommunal conflicts, the women in these books reveal themselves to be "just like us" in their hopes and aspirations.

Reviewed by F. P. Crawford

Telling Our Stories
Photo of Two Authors
Belinda Otas introduces us to East African debut authors Maaza Mengiste and Nadifa Mohamed.
Trio: Assia Djebar
Photo of Assia Djebar
Tad Deffler reviews three books by Algerian author Assia Djebar