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Belletrista - A site promoting translated women authored literature from around the world
photo of Sigrid Nunez Photo of Kamila Shamsie Photo of cupcake with one candle

US author Sigrid Nunez discusses her new novel with Joyce Nickel

TRIO: Three remarkable works by Kamila Shamsie by
Caitlin Fehir

Belletrista turns one! A brief retrospective and a look ahead

With this issue, Belletrista completes its first year. We at Belletrista would like to thank those of you spread across this great blue planet who read our little 'zine and also use it as a resource for your personal reading, your bookclubs, or your classes. May we continue to endeavor to deserve your attention in the coming year! With this issue, we debut a new feature we are calling "Conversations" and also our Belletrista blog, "If Written by a Woman," an exciting venture we hope you will all be part of. There are more exciting things ahead!

Click on 'Reviews' to see the full list of this issue's reviews...
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Ingrid Winterbach
Translated from the Afrikaans by Elsa Silke

To Hell With Cronjé is Ingrid Winterbach's literary examination of one of the turning points of South African history: the Second Boer War of 1899‒1902. The wars between Britain and the fledgling, and doomed, Boer nation have been largely ignored in English language literature …

Reviewed by Andy Barnes
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Julia Franck
Translated from the German by Anthea Bell

A prologue opens the novel. It is some time during World War II and a woman, Alice, abandons her seven-year old son at a railway station. The story proper begins many years earlier in the town of Bautzen … where

Reviewed by Amanda Meale
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Sofi Oksanen
Translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers

Estonia 1992, right after the fall of the Soviet Union, is a turbulent place, even in a small village far off the centre of events. The old woman Aliide is waiting for the legal rights to her family's lands and forests, once claimed to collective farming, to be returned to her.

Reviewed by Anders Duus
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Julia Holmes

Rolling Stone editor Julia Holmes's first novel, Meeks, owes a lot to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," the classic 1948 short story which opens with a seemingly innocent town meeting in an unspecified time and place, and gradually increases the reader's sense of foreboding until the very end when somebody heaves a rock, "and then they were upon her." Shivers!

Reviewed by Jean Raber
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2017: A NOVEL
Olga Slavnikova
Translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz

If Olga Slavnikova's novel, 2017, is any indication, the near-future of post-Soviet Russia—and the world in general—looks pretty grim on a variety of fronts, in large part because people of the techno-boom have lost touch with their own history and culture.

Reviewed by Jean Raber

Book Cover: Sky Burial
A discussion of Xinran's Sky Burial between three Belletrista readers.
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If Written By a Woman
Visit our new Belletrista blog!
The Caine Prize for African Writing 2011 – shortlist announced

The shortlist for this year’s Caine Prize has just been announced and three women are in the running for the prestigious award. This is always an exciting time of year – the Prize is a great way to discover short stories by excellent writers. Lucky for us, the Prize’s website links to a copy of …Read the Rest