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

New & Notable
In these exciting pages we reveal a sample of New and Notable publications by women that have been carefully selected after we have pored over hundreds of entries in publishers catalogs from all over the world. Our aim is to bring you the most alluring reads from around the globe, so that you may further enjoy your armchair travels from the comfort of your home. This time, we've added significantly more covers and we've increased the length of the synopses given. All of us at Belletrista take pleasure in presenting these books to you in the hope that you will enjoy browsing through them as much as we have enjoyed selecting them. Go ahead; embark on an exhilarating reading voyage!


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Alyson Hagy

In Ghosts of Wyoming, Alyson Hagy explores the hardscrabble lives and terrain of America’s least-populous state. Beyond the tourist destinations of Jackson Hole and Yellowstone lies a less familiar and wilder frontier defined by the tension wrought by abundance and scarcity. A young runaway with a big secret slips across the state border and steals a collie pup from the Meeker County fairgrounds. A chorus of trainmen details a day spent laying rail across the Wyoming Territory, while contemporary voices describe life in the oil and gas fields near Gillette. A traveling preacher is caught up in a deadly skirmish between cattle rustlers and ranchers on his way from Rawlins to the Indian reservation on the Popo Agie River. Locals and activists clash when a tourist makes an archaeological discovery near Hoodoo Mountain. With spirited, lyrical prose, Hagy expertly weaves together Wyoming’s colorful pioneer and speculator history with the not-often-heard voices of petroleum workers, thrill-seeking rock climbers, and those left behind by the latest boom and bust.

Graywolf, paperback, 9781555975487 (February)

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Shandi Mitchell

The story of an immigrant family trying to build a life in an unforgiving new world, Under This Unbroken Sky is a mesmerizing and absorbing first novel of love and greed, pride and desperation. Award-winning writer Shandi Mitchell based this evocative and compelling narrative of struggle and survival on the Canadian prairie on her own family history.

Phoenix, paperback, 9780753826621 (February)
Harper, hardcover, 9780061774027

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Ami Sands Brodoff

Winner of the 2009 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Far from the landscapes of her earlier life, Jana raised her daughter, Willow, on the beautiful scrapbooks she kept of her own childhood in Prague before World War II. But her stories end with the beginning of the Holocaust, and Willow knows little of her mother’s life during the war and its aftermath. Jana’s memories of this time are so guarded that Willow is uncertain who her father is – the answer left behind in Montréal, the city where Jana first settled after the war.

When both Willow and Jana find themselves back in Montréal, the past can no longer be hidden. New loves are found and lost loves rekindled, and mother and daughter decide to journey to Prague to unearth the stories that can no longer stay buried.

Second Story Press (CAN), paperback, 9781897187494

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Jayne Anne Phillips

A rich, wonderfully alive novel from one of our most admired and best-loved writers, her first book in nine years and a nominee for the 2009 National Book Award. Lark and Termite is set during the 1950s in West Virginia and Korea. It is a story of the power of loss and love, the echoing ramifications of war, family secrets, dreams and ghosts, and the unseen, almost magical bonds that unite and sustain us.

At its center, two children: Lark, on the verge of adulthood, and her brother, Termite, a child unable to walk and talk but filled with radiance. Around them, their mother, Lola, a haunting but absent presence; their aunt Nonie, a matronly, vibrant woman in her fifties, who raises them; and Termite’s father, Corporal Robert Leavitt, who finds himself caught up in the chaotic early months of the Korean War.

Vintage, paperback, 9780375701931 (January)

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Leslie Vryenhoek

In this debut collection, set in Winnipeg, Leslie Vryenhoek draws us into the desires of those who are easily overlooked: the chary cook at a home for pregnant women who grieves the transition from nuns to social workers; a down-on-his-luck labourer in Winnipeg’s inner city who wants to ride a stolen bicycle; the middle-aged woman, demoralized by family obligations, who lets a fast-talking chocolate salesman in the door.

These are stories about the longing that gnaws at our most ordinary days, and about those rare moments of acute certainty, even joy, on which whole lives can pivot and change course.

Oolichan, paperback, 9780889822597

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Katherine Towler

This is the third book in Towler's "Snow Island" trilogy, set off the New England coast. Ruth Lambert left Snow Island when she was a teenager, but returns in the Fall of 1990 after her aunt's death, when she and her sister inherit the old Snow Inn. Nick McGarrell, a Vietnam veteran, has quit his job on the mainland as an engineer and retreated to his island birthplace to work as a carpenter. Nora Venable, an aging lesbian and owner of the island's abandoned mansion, moves into the caretaker's cottage on a whim. From the confines of their small New England community, the trio watch as the United States prepares to go to war once again, this time in the Persian Gulf. When the mansion burns down one night in a mysterious fire, the lives of Nora, Nick, and Ruth unexpectedly intersect, tearing them from their private—but determined–battles with the past, and propelling them into the unknown future of loss, love, and redemption.

MacAdam/Cage, hardcover, 9781596923621 (February)

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Louise Erdrich

This unique volume brings together for the first time three decades of short stories. Erdrich is a fearless and inventive writer. In her fictional world, the mystical can emerge from the everyday, the comic turn suddenly tragic, and violence and beauty inhabit a single emotional landscape. Each character in these stories is full of surprises, and the twists and leaps of Erdrich's imagination are made all the more meaningful by the deeper truth of human feeling that underlies them.

Harper Perennial, paperback, 9780061536083

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Marisa Matarazzo

Two lovers accidentally create a love potion while making a batch of Jell-O. An apartment is filled with water as an act of gravity-defying devotion to an acrobat. At turns blissful, absurd, sexy, and devastating, Marisa Matarazzo’s stories don’t just push the boundaries of love—they show how very boundless it is. ...Matarazzo has established a singular style. As she shifts effortlessly among startling plotlines and peculiar characters, she celebrates the fluid sorcery of love—in its ardor, its ugliness, all of its uncanny and magnificent manifestations, proclaiming love the most wondrous magic of all.

Soft Skull, 9781593762711, Feb 2010

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Joyce Carol Oates

From Booklist —Sixteen-year-old Katya is spending the summer working as a nanny in a wealthy Jersey Shore community when she meets Marcus Kidder, an elderly yet dashing artist to whom libraries and pavilions are dedicated all over town. He catches her eyeing display-case lingerie and offers to buy it for her; she refuses. Later, when she visits his mansion, he tries to gift her the same lingerie; again, she refuses. But despite each rebuff, she keeps returning to Kidder and soon is posing for his paintings, some of which require the shedding of clothes. What sounds like a story of older-man-seduces-waif becomes, in Oates’ hands, something far thornier—a treatise on the faceted push-and-pull of female aspiration. There is a subtle mystery at the center of this unsettling short novel: Kidder insists that he has a “mission” for Katya that will be revealed in time. The mission, when it comes, is a dark one, involving not just transactions of subservience and control but of life and death, and readers’ takes on character motivations will govern their reactions. Fans of Oates’ gothic stylings will not be disappointed, however, and Katya’s belligerent exuberance (“He wants me! Me, me!”) gives the prose plenty of punch.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, 9780151015160
Quercus, hardcover, 9781847248589

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Yan Li

A story of adjustment, acceptance, and belonging emerges from the settings of Red China and contemporary Mapleton, Ontario. Lily, a young immigrant, is trying to make it on her own—and succeeding in her own way. Then her mother arrives—she’s come to “save” her daughter. Through Lily’s challenging relationship with her mother and with the vibrant and quirky Chinese community in Mapleton, we witness unexpected changes and challenges as she copes with her new environment and the transformation of her spirit and soul.

Lily in the Snow provides a unique perspective on the universal tale of intergenerational conflict and explores the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada with humour and insight.

Women's Press (CAN), paperback, 9780889614796

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Gina Ochsner

Award‒winning short fiction writer Gina Ochsner debuts as a novelist with a story about a ghost who haunts a crumbling apartment building in post-Soviet Russia and a young woman named Tanya who carries a notebook wherever she goes, recording her observations and her dreams of finding love and escaping her job at the All-Russia All-Cosmopolitan Museum. " Ochsner's fable‒like, magical debut, we see the transcendence of imagination. As Colum McCann has said: "[Ochsner] manages... to capture our sundry human moments and make raw and unforgettable music of them."

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, 9780618563739 (February)

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Kia Dupree

Camille Logan feels trapped. After she is sexually and emotionally abused by her foster parents, she turns to the one person she knows she can trust--her boyfriend Chu, a mid-level drug dealer. But when life finally starts looking up for Camille, Chu is brutally murdered. Again feeling abandoned and helpless, and refusing to return to the system, Camille finds herself living with a stable of women in a tiny run-down apartment building in Washington, D.C., working for Nut, a deranged pimp. Fed up with her life, Camille is forced to right her wrongs, and slowly learns that her past does not necessarily determine her future. "Dupree displays an excellent ear for the dialogue, thinking, music and world views of her young characters and a talent for setting...far above standard street lit..." — Publishers Weekly

Grand Central, paperback, 9780446547758