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Belletrista - A site promoting translated women authored literature from around the world

New & Notable
Whether you are a seasoned reader of international literature or a reader just venturing out beyond your own literary shores, we know you will find our New and Notable section a book browser's paradise! Reading literature from around the world has a way of opening up one's perspective to create as vast a world within us as there is without. Here are more than 70 new or notable books we hope will bring the world to you. Remember—depending on what country you are shopping in, these books might be sold under slightly different titles or ISBNs, in different formats or with different covers; or be published in different months. However, the author's name is always likely to be the same!


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Hanan Al-Shaykh

Erotic, brutal, witty and poetic, One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by the young Shahrazad under sentence of death to King Shahrayar. Maddened by the discovery of his wife's orgies, King Shahrayar believes all women are unfaithful and vows to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. To survive, his newest wife Shahrazad spins a web of tales night after night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes, thus prolonging her life for another day. Written in Arabic from tales gathered in India, Persia and across the great Arab empire, these mesmerising stories tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. Now adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh the One Thousand and One Nights are revealed in an intoxicating new voice.

Hanan al-Shaykh is one of the contemporary Arab world's most acclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian Gulf, before moving to London. She is the author of the collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops and her novels include The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues and Only in London, shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Most recently she published the acclaimed memoir of her mother's life, The Locust and the Bird.

Bloomsbury, hardcover, 9781408826041 (September)

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Yael Hedaya

Eden is not the paradise it appears to be. It is a stifling rural Israeli community in which upscale urban escapees Alona and Mark try to salvage their relationship under the resentful scrutiny of Roni, Mark's adolescent daughter, who feels empowered by her sexual adventures with older men. The neighbors, Dafna and Eli, are in crisis, too, their marriage rent by the torment of infertility. Set against a backdrop of Middle East fears, family entanglements, disappearing countryside, and disappointed expectations, Yael Hedaya's Eden brilliantly renders the strains of unrest in what, on the surface, seems an idyllic place.

Yael Hedaya is the head writer for "In Treatment", the acclaimed Israeli TV series adapted for HBO. The author of Housebroken and Accidents, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2006, Hedaya teaches creative writing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Picador, paperback, 9780312427269

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Yewande Omotoso

Leke is a troubled young man living in the suburbs of Cape Town. He develops strange habits of stalking people, stealing small objects and going from doctor to doctor in search of companionship rather than cure. Through a series of letters written to him by his Nigerian father whom he has never met, Leke learns about a family curse; a curse which his father had unsuccessfully tried to remove. Bom Boy is a well-crafted and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria with her Nigerian father, West Indian mother and two older brothers. She and her family moved to South Africa in 1992 and have lived there ever since. She is an architect, space and buildings being a passion of hers second only to words and literature. She currently lives in Cape Town working as a designer, freelance writer and novelist.

Modjaji Books, paperback, 9781920397357

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Ros Wynne-Jones

In Adek, a tiny village in the sprawling desert of Southern Sudan, a community lives on a knife-edge of starvation and war, at the mercy of the bombs that fall from the sky like rain. When three western aidworkers are stranded here—a place where poets carry Kalashnikovs and rebel commanders wear pink dressing gowns—their presence brings hope and danger in equal measure. An ominous ode to Africa's violent beauty, Something is Going to Fall Like Rain is also a life-affirming reminder that love and happiness can co-exist with famine and conflict.

Ros Wynne-Jones is an award-winning journalist who has worked in conflict zones around the world from South Sudan to East Timor, Kosovo to Rwanda. The Daily Mirror's senior feature writer from January 2001 to December 2008, she has also been a staff writer on the Independent on Sunday, Independent, Daily Express and Sunday Mirror. Ros lives in London.

Beautiful Books, paperback, 9781908238207

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Dawn Garisch

In the mid 1950s, lonely middle-aged spinster, Phyllis, has spent much of her adult life caring for her ailing mother. On her mother's death, she takes a position as a matron at an exclusive Cape Town boarding school. She begins to keep a journal of her daily encounters and experiences—something she has not done since the age of sixteen, before falling pregnant by her cousin and being forced to give the child up for adoption. As she tries to settle into her new life, Phyllis remains haunted by her secret guilt and shame. Then a new boy is enrolled into the school and Phyllis becomes convinced he is her grandson. Michael, small and vulnerable, quickly becomes a victim of bullying and Phyllis finds a renewed purpose in seeing to his comfort and protection. But the purpose she has found for herself will have consequences more devastating than ever she could have imagined.

Myrmidon Books, hardcover, 9781905802616

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Edited by Alleyn Deisel

The stories in Reclaiming the L-Word: Sappho's Daughters Out in Africa eloquently deal with the depth and complexity of lesbian experiences and serve to contradict stereotyping. The writers come from all walks of life, race groups and religious persuasions. The book includes a photo essay by well-known artist and activist, Zanele Muholi, and her article of lesbian rape in South Africa, originally published by Agenda.

Modjaji Books, paperback, 9781920397289

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