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!

Reviews
Below is a small tantalizing selection of this month's reviews....
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THE LAST RIVER CHILD
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.
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Reviewed by Caitlin Fehir
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MY BIRD
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.
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Reviewed by F. P. Crawford
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MOONLIGHT IN ODESSA
Janet Skeslien Charles

Moonlight in Odessa might refer to the light cast by that silvery orb on the waters of the Black Sea, but in this compelling debut novel by Janet Skeslien Charles moonlight takes on worlds of other meanings for its chief character, Daria Kirilenko.
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Reviewed by Tui Menzies
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THE VERA WRIGHT TRILOGY
Elizabeth Jolley

In the three semi-autobiographical novels which make up this trilogy, Elizabeth Jolley follows the coming-of-age of Vera Wright, an unconventional woman trying to find her place in the world in the tumultuous upheaval and devastation of England during WWII.
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Reviewed by Cate Lombardo
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DARK MATTER
Juli Zeh
Translated from the German by Christine Lo

There's a commonly-held perception that suspense novels are light reading, unchallenging brain candy for those in search of a bit of pulse-quickening excitement in the airport. Juli Zeh, a bestseller and multi-award winner in her native Germany, has decided to turn this notion on its head by writing a suspense novel about quantum physics.
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Reviewed by F. T. Huffkin


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