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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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Vicki Hastrich

In 1924 the planned and long-awaited Sydney Harbour Bridge represents an impossible ideal - to span the great waters of the harbour and take a war-scarred nation into a dazzling future. No one is more enthusiastic than Reverend Ralph Anderson Cage of Lavender Bay, whose imagination is seized by the scale of this thoroughly modern vision. Ralph is a grand dreamer with all-too-human failings and in the Bridge, which he can see under construction from his Rectory verandah, he finds an obsession to last a lifetime. Sermons become paeans to the creative will of God - and the beauty of girders and pylons - and his parish papers wax lyrical about rivets and granite. But as he urges his long-suffering wife Stella, his children, his parishioners and the phlegmatic housekeeper Mrs Pessey to dream as big as he does, Ralph fails to notice those left behind by the bridge: the dispossessed families whose houses are destroyed in its path and the workers who lose their lives in accidents on its precarious heights. The Great Depression wears on, and the Bridge becomes a bitter reminder to his hungry parishioners of a promised prosperity that never comes. As Ralph invests everything in his obsession, the great arch he so loves and admires threatens to become his undoing.

Inspired by true people and events, and as open and colossal as the bridge itself, Vicki Hastrich's deeply moving novel links two centuries, two world wars and two generations. By turns wickedly funny and breathtakingly poetic, this is the story of an ordinary man, and an ordinary life, made grand.

Allen & Unwin, paperback, 9781741758191

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Jen Craig

In a suburban Sydney pub, a woman tells her younger sister the story of how her life has changed since a serious car accident. She speaks of the blossoming of romance, the rediscovery of her long-dormant creativity: her ability to draw. And yet an exhibition comes to nothing, a lover is abandoned. She leaves everything behind. In the driving monologue of her own narrative, the younger sister attempts to make sense of her life and the events and thoughts that have obsessed the elder since the accident.

Ginninderra Press, paperback, 9781740275637

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Cath Kenneally 

Jetty Road is an amusing and insightful novel about women of a certain age, kids and oldies – about life actually, and how we never really grow into it. The story explores the intertwined lives of two sisters, Evie and Paula Haggerty. Damaged by their early life experiences – Evie’s past drug habit and the collapse of Paula’s long-term relationship – the sisters depend on one another to stand strong against the challenges of mid life, and together face difficult decisions that must be made.

Wakefield Press, paperback, 9781862548299

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Kalinda Ashton 

Alice and Louise are sisters united by a distant tragedy - the house fire their brother lit and burnt to death in, fourteen years ago. Alice teaches dirt-poor students at a state high school that the government wants to close, and she pursues an episodic, estranged relationship with a married man. Louise, a habitual liar and recovering heroin addict, has been playing 'the danger game' since she was a child, and she can't stop. But when Louise decides to unravel the truth about her twin brother's death, and seeks out the mother that abandoned her as a ten-year-old, everything changes. The Danger Game is a work of literary realism, told through three voices in a pared-back style laced with black humour. The Danger Game is at once unsentimental account of deprivation and resistance, and a critique of the human cost of untrammelled economic rationalism.

Sleepers Publishing, paperback, 9781740668132

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Joanna Orwin

A fast-paced, exciting YA/adult historical novel about the disastrous collision of cultures that occurred in the Bay of Islands, when the two ships in French explorer Marion duFresne's expedition came ashore to find a replacement for a mast destroyed in a collision at sea.

A source of fascination and fear for local Mäor, who at first attempted to placate these godlike creatures, but became increasingly angered by their lack of respect for tribal values and traditions, the expedition blindly become authors of their own demise. Orwin skilfully reveals the ill-fated expedition's bitter end, after months of cohabitation, racheting up the tension with a clever use of a fictitious written Mäori account of the events that has survived as a tribal artifact. European history has told one side of the story, and now through the device of a young sailor, who is adopted by one of the Rangatira vying for political and military dominance, Joanna Orwin weaves a fascination Mä:or counterpoint so that the inexplicable treachery becomes not only explicable but increasingly inevitable.

Researched in depth with local sources, for the first time a key event in history is examined in a fresh and revealing way, bringing the tragic events to a breathtaking conclusion and casting a new light on the past through the narrative device of a skilled novelist.

HarperCollins, paperback, 9781869507787

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Caroline Overington

On 11 November 1982, police were called to a housing estate an hour west of Melbourne. In the lounge room of an otherwise ordinary brick veneer home, they found a five-year-old boy lying on the carpet. His arms were by his sides, his palms flat. The paramedics could see no obvious signs of trauma other than an almost imperceptible indentation to the boy's skull, but he died the next day.

The boy's mother said a man had attacked her son on the way back from the shops, but few people were surprised when she and her boyfriend went to prison for the crime. Police declared themselves satisfied that justice had been done.And yet, for years, rumours swept the estate and clung like cobwebs to the long-vacant house: there had been a cover-up. The real perpetrator, at least according to local gossip, was the boy's six-year-old sister, Lauren . . .

Weaving multiple voices and perspectives, Caroline Overington's debut novel is both compelling and thought-provoking. Ghost Child is a page-turner of immense power and insight. This is a book people will feel compelled to talk about. It begs the question "can you ever truly escape your past?"

Bantam, paperback, 9781863256803

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Claire Thomas

A beautiful, beguiling and multi-layered novel, Fugitive Blue tells the story of a young art conservator and her work on a fifteenth-century panel painting in striking ultramarine. As she restores the fragile artwork, her fascination with it grows.How did an inexperienced artist in Renaissance Venice come to possess such valuable art materials? Who has loved it? Relinquished it? Carried it with them across the world?

The story follows the painting from its controversial creation and reappearance centuries later during a nobleman's Grand Tour of Europe, passing through Impressionist-era Paris, before its eventual arrival in Australia as one of the scarce possessions of a post-war Greek migrant family. Against this shifting backdrop, the narrator's own story of love and loss is gradually revealed. This debut novel was the 2009 winner of the Dobbie Award and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Allen & Unwin, paperback, 9781742372327