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.

Lois Ava-Matthew is the founder and managing editor of Belletrista. She is driven by an intense curiosity, a somewhat tempered sense of adventure, and too much chocolate.

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

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.

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.

Michael Matthew is a scientist with a small company outside of Boston. Outside work, his reading is usually, but not limited to: nonfiction, current events, poetry or science fiction.

Amanda Meale is a music teacher who loves to read. She lives near Sydney, Australia.

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.

Julia Mignone has spent most of her 20-something years living in her imagination (storming castles and watching people grow are some of her favorite activities). By day, she is a taxation grad student, but by night, she puts aside her worksheets and sates her voracious literary appetite with anything from Moliére to Angela Carter to Langston Hughes.

Chris Mills originally hails from Birmingham, UK and at present lives in Dublin, Ireland. She works in a bookshop in South Dublin. Spare time is taken up with reading, writing, gardening, being outdoors, cultural stuff and making things.

Deborah Montuori teaches English at a Pennsylvania university. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Early Modern British literature, and most of her professional writing focuses on defining the self. In addition to reading, she enjoys attending plays, watching independent films, listening to Celtic or classical music, and cooking healthy gourmet meals. She lives with one cat and thousands of books that help to keep her sane.

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.

Joyce Nickel is a corporate writer from Vancouver, Canada. When she's not reading or traveling, she can be found enjoying the outdoor lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.

M. Lynx Qualey lives in Cairo, Egypt, where she writes about contemporary Arabic literature and teaches creative writing. She blogs at

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.

Andrew Stancek is a professional librarian, writer and translator living in Ontario, Canada. His current projects include work on his own novel, as well as translations of Slovak short stories and Czech poetry.

Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe has had careers in teaching, bookselling, publishing and writing. Now that she is a freelancer she can do all four at the same time. Living in Auckland, New Zealand, she can see three volcanoes (hopefully all extinct) from her office window. Books are her favourite gift—to receive and to give—and she is thrilled that all three of her children are voracious readers.