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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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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Karen Joy Fowler

The interesting point about most of the stories in Karen Joy Fowler's superb new collection is what doesn't matter in them. Most feature some element of the fantastic, which typically would be their point. But here, the fantastic element or idea is always less interesting than Fowler's character or milieu.

Reviewed by Michael Matthew
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Maike Wetzel
Translated from the German by Lyn Marven

Maike Wetzel has begun to garner considerable attention in her native Germany and beyond, but, at present, her published prose consists of just two short story collections, with the promise of a novel in the pipeline. Long Days is the first of Wetzel's works to be translated into English, and it has left me breathlessly waiting for more.

Reviewed by Andy Barnes
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Nawal El-Saadawi
Translated from the Arabic

Nawal el Saadawi is a feminist, novelist, poet, playwright, political activist, doctor, teacher, mother, daughter. She has a formidable intellect, is courageous, forthright and controversial. This reader brings together el Saadawi's writing from the past thirty years

Reviewed by Charlotte Simpson

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