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!

Reviews
Click on 'Reviews' to see the full list of this issue's reviews...
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AM I A REDUNDANT HUMAN BEING?
Mela Hartwig
Translated from the German by Kerri Pierce

Am I a Redundant Human Being?traces the innermost thoughts of Aloisia Schmidt. Aloisia thinks of herself as mediocre in almost every regard. She is neither pretty nor ugly, clever nor stupid, and is unremarkable in …
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Reviewed by Andy Barnes
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THE ESSENTIAL NAWAL EL-SAADAWI
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
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Reviewed by Charlotte Simpson
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MALAMBO
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 …
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Reviewed by Andy Barnes
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SANCTUARY LINE
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.
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Reviewed by Joyce Nickel
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THERE ONCE LIVED A WOMAN WHO TRIED TO KILL HER NEIGHBOR'S BABY: SCARY FAIRY TALES
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
Translated from the Russian by Keith Gessen and Anna Summers

Wow! Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is big news in Russia, but was little known in the English-speaking world before the publication of this collection by Penguin in 2009. I hope much more of her work is published in English, because, on the evidence of this collection, she is a stunningly good writer.
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Reviewed by Tim Jones


CONVERSATIONS:
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