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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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Inaam Kachachi
Translated by Nariman Youssef

At the beginning of America's occupation of Iraq, 15 years after leaving Baghdad, Zeina returns to her war-torn homeland as an interpreter for the US Army where she finds herself torn by conflicting allegiances. Her formidable grandmother, the only family member that Zeina believes she has in Iraq, gravely disapproves of her granddaughter's actions. Whilst in Baghdad, Zeina meets Haider and Muhaymin, two 'brothers' she knows nothing of. When she falls deeply in love with Muhaymin, a militant in the Al Mehdi Army, she begins to question all her values.

Bloomsbury Qatar, paperback, 9789992142042

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Rina Frank
Translated by Ora Cummings

Braiding together past and present, Every House Needs a Balcony tells the story of a young Jewish girl—a child of Romanian immigrants—who lives with her family in the poverty-stricken heart of 1950s Haifa, Israel. Eight-year-old Rina, her older sister, and their parents inhabit a cramped apartment with a narrow balcony that becomes an intimate shared stage on which the joys and dramas of the building's daily life are played out. It is also a vantage point from which Rina witnesses the emergence of a strange new country, born from the ashes of World War II. Later, after years of living abroad with her wealthy Spanish husband in Barcelona, Rina, longing for the simple life she has missed, returns to the Haifa of her boisterous youth, a move that soothes her soul but ultimately endangers her marriage.

Beautifully told, rich with questions of identity, love, and survival, Every House Needs a Balcony is an unforgettable social and historical portrait of a neighborhood and a nation. Steeped in the colors and smells, laughter and tears, of Rina Frank's own childhood memories, it is a heartbreaking tale about the deepest meanings of home.

Fourth Estate, hardcover, 9780007353668

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Angela Barry

A chance encounter at Kennedy Airport with her ex-husband, Saliou Wade, takes Magdalene and their now adult daughter, Khadi, on a visit to him and his new family in Senegal. Magdalene is understandably nervous about the return, remembering the pain of the mutual cultural incomprehension—she is a St Lucian—that ended the marriage almost twenty years before; but Khadi refuses to go without her. In Senegal, whilst the now cosmopolitan Saliou appears to exist comfortably in multiple worlds, there are more complex relationships to manage with members of his large extended family. But the sensitivities are not merely social and cultural. A visit Khadi and her half-sister Maimouna make to the slave port of Gorée has consequences that lay bare unfinished business between West Indians and Africans, between Magdalene and Saliou, and Khadi and her parents. And when Khadi and Hassim, Saliou's brother-in-law, are drawn together, those looking on must wonder whether history will repeat itself.

Peepal Tree Press, paperback, 9781845231255

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Elma Shaw

Set in Monrovia during the administration of Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, this riveting debut is a story of recovery, atonement, and the continuing quest for peace and justice in a nation plagued by conflict and inequalities since its founding by freed American slaves. Life in post-war Liberia is not easy, and it is especially challenging for Bendu Lewis, a young woman who counsels traumatized survivors of Liberia's civil war while struggling with memories of her own war-time experiences. When the warlord who once held her in captivity suddenly shows up in town, she decides that for her own healing, and for the voiceless victims of the war, she must bring him to justice for his past atrocities. In her pursuit of Commander Cobra, Bendu finds much more than she bargained for, including the courage to finally confront and make amends for her own painful war-time secret.

Cotton Tree Press, paperback, 9780980077414 (available through the African Book Collective).

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Nawal El Saadawi and Adele Newson Horst (Editors)

The writing of Nawal el Saadawi is essential to anyone wishing to understand the contemporary Middle East. Her dissident voice has stayed as consistent in its critique of the neo-imperialist international politics as it has of the oppression of women both in her native Egypt and in the world beyond. Saadawi is a figure of international significance and her work has a central place in the history and culture of the Arabic world of the last fifty years. This book, the first volume in "Zed's Essential Feminists" series, gathers a section of the whole range of Saadawi's writing together in one volume for the first time. From fiction—novellas and short stories—to essays on politics, culture, religion and sex, from extensive interviews to her work as a dramatist, from poetry to selections of her travel writing, this book will be essential to anyone wishing to gain a sense of the total range of Saadawi's work.

Zed Books, paperback, 9781848133358 (August)