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
photo of Hanan al-Shaykh Photo of 19th century women feeding printing press Photo of Gail Jones

Andy Barnes tells us why
Hanan al-Shaykh is "one of the Middle East's finest contemporary writers"

Don't Stop the Presses! Women's and Feminist Presses

Ways of Seeing: Two Novels by Australian author Gail Jones

Welcome, readers, to our eighth issue. Like all previous issues we have stuffed this one full of great books and authors for you to discover. Whether you would like to read a book written by an author from places far from where you are or one close to home, we have a book here for you! We've featured Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh and Australian author Gail Jones in this issue, and also have highlighted ten women's or feminist presses publishing in English. Three of our readers take part in the 2nd of our "Conversations", discussing the novel Touch by Palestinian author Adania Shibli. And please check out our blog (link further down on the page) and talk to us!

Click on 'Reviews' to see the full list of this issue's reviews...
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Lena Meydan
Translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield

Lena Meydan's novel Twilight Forever Rising (originally titled Blood Brothers in Russian, perhaps changed in translation to capitalize on the Twilight phenomenon)—the first installment of a best-selling fantasy series in Russia—depicts a world in which humans unknowingly coexist with vampires who are the real forces behind politics, art, and war.

Reviewed by F. P. Crawford
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Ana Mariá Shua
Translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger

Ana María Shua's Death as a Side Effect is a perfectly pitched, darkly comic satire, set in a dystopian near-future Argentina. Politicians perform comedy routines on television, the streets are no-go areas, infested with gangs of marauding vandals, and neighbours are strangers, drowning out evidence of each others' presences with blaring music.

Reviewed by Andy Barnes
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Selma Lagerlöf
Translated from the Swedish by Paul Norlen

The Saga of Gösta Berling moves freely from lyrical celebrations of nature to harshly realistic descriptions of industry, and on into the realms of folklore and fairytale. Were the book published today, we might …

Reviewed by Jane A. Jones
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Taslima Nasrin

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. But is it revenge if the act stays forever secret? Can the avenger ever find satisfaction knowing she must spend the rest of her life married to her wrongdoer? For Jhumur, the highly educated, once independent woman of Taslima Nasrin's Revenge, silent vengeance is the only option.

Reviewed by Caitlin Fehir
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Lucía Charún-Illecas
Translated from the Spanish by Emmanuel Harris II

The South American historical fiction that I have read tends to focus on the battles between the European powers for control of the continent. The large populations of indigenous Americans and imported slaves have been conspicuous by their absence, although themes …

Reviewed by Andy Barnes

Book Cover: Sky Burial
Three Belletrista readers discuss Touch by Palestinian author Adania Shibli.
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