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...
Book cover
Jane Urquhart

In her seventh novel, Sanctuary Line, acclaimed Canadian writer Jane Urquhart returns to her familiar themes of transience and memory. As with her earlier works, Urquhart's prose sparkles on the page to create an atmospheric, dreamlike book that at the same time conveys a sense of verisimilitude to actual lives.

Reviewed by Joyce Nickel
Book cover
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
Book cover
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
Book cover
Patricia Grossman

Elise Blazek is the core of Irena's life. Yes, Irena has a husband, Stepan, but when not at work, he's busy tinkering on a model of Karlstein Castle, a remnant of his memories of Plzen, Czechoslovakia, his childhood home.

Reviewed by Deborah Montuori
Book cover
Malika Mokeddem
Translated from the French by Karen Melissa Marcus

As readers, we crave a story whose content and execution work together seamlessly to draw us in. Yet we don't always get all we want, and the question arises: when all is said and done, what tips the balance and makes us glad we have read a book?

Reviewed by Tad Deffler

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