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

New & Notable
Whether you are a seasoned reader of international literature or a reader just venturing out beyond your own literary shores, we know you will find our New and Notable section a book browser's paradise! Reading literature from around the world has a way of opening up one's perspective to create as vast a world within us as there is without. Here are 60+ new and notable books we hope will bring the world to you.


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Lionel Shriver

All his life Shep Knacker has dreamed of leaving New York and living in simplicity in the Third World. Yet he comes to realise that his wife Glynis has never been serious about making the change. On the very day that he announces he is leaving for the island of Pemba with or without her, she informs him that she has cancer.

So he can't leave. If nothing else, Glynis needs his health insurance. But despite their having insurance coverage, the co-payments required for her astronomically expensive treatments systematically deplete Shep's nest egg, and this once well-off small businessman hurtles toward...bankruptcy.

Lionel Shriver's brilliant new novel takes a hard look at America's health care system and asks the uncomfortable question: how much money is one human life worth?

HarperCollins, hardcover 9780007271078

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Clare Clark

Louisiana, 1704, and France is clinging on to a swampy corner of the New World with only a few hundred men. Into this precarious situation arrive Elizabeth Savaret, one of a group of young women sent from Paris to provide wives for the colonists, and Auguste Guichard, the only ship's boy to survive the crossing. Elizabeth brings with her a green-silk quilt and a volume of Montaigne's essays; August brings nothing but an aptitude for botany and languages. Each has to build a life, Elizabeth among the feckless inhabitants of Mobile who wait for white flour to be sent from France; Auguste in the 'redskin' village where he has been left as hostage and spy. Soon both fall for the bewitching charisma of infantryman Jean-Claude Babelon, Elizabeth as his wife, Auguste as his friend. But Babelon is a dangerous man to become involved with. Like so many who seek their fortunes in the colonies, he is out for himself, and has little regard for loyalty, love and trust. When his treachery forces Elizabeth and Auguste to start playing by his rules, the consequences are devastating. Rich in tactile detail, heart-wrenching in its portrayal of people clinging on to their humanity against the brutality of nature and commerce, this is historical fiction at its best.

Harvill Secker, paperback, 9781846553516

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C. E. Morgan

Aloma is a young woman who has put her life aside - and her dreams of becoming a pianist - to move in with her lover, Orren. His family has recently been killed in an accident. Stricken with grief and overwhelmingly burdened by the shape his life has taken, Orren is desperate to keep the tobacco farm running. There is a drought, and he needs it to rain. As he toils with the land, Aloma finds that Orren has become more remote than she could ever have imagined, and that silence has taken hold of their relationship. When she begins to play the piano for the local church, she meets the local preacher, and feels a dangerous attraction for him. As events unfold over this single summer, C.E. Morgan takes us on a journey which describes the journey of our own lives. This novel is about every single relationship between a man and a woman - past, present and future - and about the distance between the lives we lead and the lives we imagine for ourselves.

Picador, paperback, 9780312429324
Fourth Estate, hardcover, 9780007305957

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Alice Lichtenstein

On a cold January morning, Susan, a professor of biology, leaves her husband alone for a few minutes and returns to find him gone. Suffering from dementia, no longer able to dress or feed or wash himself without help, Christopher has wandered alone into a frigid landscape with no sense of home or direction. Lost.

From the unexpected convergence of these lives emerges an arresting portrait of the shifting terrain of marriage and the uneasy burden of love and regret. With her stark, beautiful prose and extraordinary insight into the human conscience and heart, Alice Lichtenstein has crafted a fiercely eloquent and emotionally suspenseful novel about the lengths we will go to take care of someone and the unfathomable ways that even the simplest of choices can reverberate throughout a life.

Scribner, hardcover, 9781439159828

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Louise Dupré
Translated from the French by Liedewy Hawke

In this collection of twenty-six stories, acclaimed Quebec author Louise DuprĂ© celebrates women who have reached the summer of their lives, with plenty to look back upon and even more to look forward to. In one story, two lovers trapped in a restaurant by a snowstorm call an end to their relationship. In another, a woman buries her father and finds she is unable to grieve for him. At Expo 67, a teenage girl discovers the world and the fellowship of humankind. A quietly desperate academic travels to a conference and unexpectedly finds passion -- perhaps even love. These women are tightrope-walkers, alone and courageous; having crossed so many thresholds, they must now find the strength to defy convention and habit, and take one more leap into the unknown in order to start over. Dark, yet radiant, High-Wire Summer is proof of Louise Dupré's ability to disarm and seduce with the delicate music of her words.

Cormorant Books (CAN), paperback, 9781897151532

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Sue Miller

Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from the author of last year's explosive New York Times best seller The Senator's Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina - Billy - Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The novel centers around her play, "The Lake Shore Limited", about the terrorist bombing of that train—and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife who is traveling on it. How Billy comes to write the play out of her own painful conflicts and ambivalence, how it is then created anew by the actors and the director, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters' lives - these form the vital core of a story that drives the novel compulsively forward.

Knopf, hardcover, 978-0307264213 (April)
Bloomsbury, paperback, 9781408807330

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Jodi Picoult

Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's -- not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect -- can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way -- and fails those who don't.

Atria, hardcover, 9780743296434
Hodder & Stoughton, hardcover, 9780340979051

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Katie Crouch

When Hannah Legare was 11, her father went on a fishing trip in the Charleston harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return.

Twenty years later Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks, her business is bankrupt. After a disastrous attempt to win back her husband, she ends up back at her mother's home to "rest up", where she is once again sucked into the mystery of her missing father. Suspecting that those closest are keeping secrets--including Palmer, her emotionally closed, well-mannered brother and Warren, the beautiful boyfriend she left behind--Hannah sets out on an uproarious, dangerous quest that will test the whole family's concepts of loyalty and faith.

Little, Brown, hardcover, 9780316002134 (April)
Bloomsbury, paperback, 9780747593720 (April)

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Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill returns with a luminous new collection of stories - her first in more than ten years. In "College Town l980," young people adrift in Ann Arbor debate the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; in the urban fairy tale "Mirrorball," a young man steals a girl's soul during a one-night stand; in "The Little Boy," a woman haunted by the death of her former husband is finally able to grieve through a mysterious encounter with a needy child. Each story delivers the powerful, original language, and the dramatic engagement of the intelligent mind with the craving body—of the intelligent body with the craving mind—that has come to be seen as stunningly emblematic of Gaitskill's fiction.

Vintage, paperback, 9780307275875

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Margaret Gibson

From the moment she burst onto the Canadian literary scene with her instantly acclaimed debut book of stories, The Butterfly Ward (1976), Margaret Gibson proved herself to be "a writer of burning intensity and rare vision, an accomplished explorer of hidden caves of the mind" (Globe and Mail). In her five collections and award-winning novel, Opium Dreams, Gibson mapped a unique fictional world, one frequently populated by characters who—though they may be damaged, marginalized, or mentally ill—nevertheless remained intensely, and rivetingly, human. Published posthumously, Dark Angel is Margaret Gibson's definitive literary testament. Drawn from her entire body of work, this volume contains both published and some recently discovered unpublished stories, as well as an introduction by well-known fiction writer Lisa Moore. Unflinchingly honest, emotionally raw, luminous, this is writing consistently poised on the sharp edge of what it means to be alive. This beautifully designed collection of Margaret Gibson's fiction, some of which has been long unavailable, will introduce new readers to the work of one of Canada's most strikingly original writers, and will give her existing followers an opportunity to own the work of one of their admired writers in a single handsome volume.

McClelland & Stewart, paperback, 9780771034077