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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 80 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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A. L. Kennedy

Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose. In fleeing the UK—temporarily—Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner in what she came to see as a series of crimes. Together they acted as fake mediums, perfecting the arcane skills practised by effective frauds.

She hadn't, though, expected Arthur on the boat. As her voyage progresses, Elizabeth's past is revealed, codes slowly form and break as communication deepens. It's time for her to discover who are the true deceivers and who are the truly deceived.

What's more, is the book itself— a fiction which may not always be lying—deceiving the reader? Offering illusions and false trails, magical numbers and redemptive humour, this is a novel about what happens when we are misled and when we are true: an extraordinarily intricate and intimate journey into our minds and hearts undertaken by a writer of great gifts—a maker of wonders.

Jonathan Cape, hardcover, 9780224091404 (August)

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Mari Strachan

From the author of The Earth Hums in B Flat comes a gripping and moving portrait of a society emerging from the shadow of war, and of Non Davies, an unforgettable woman out of kilter with her time.

In the aftermath of the Great War, Non Davies wakes one morning to find her husband crouching under the kitchen table in a cold sweat and with fear in his eyes, shouldering an imaginary rifle. During the intense heat of that summer she forces herself to sit and watch him,knowing she has to discover what has changed her Davey so completely. A mysterious letter addressed to Davey gives her the clue she needs and takes her to the crowded, sweltering city of London in search of an answer. When she returns home Non realizes that the dark secrets of Davey's behaviour are working their way ever closer to the surface—secrets that will shatter the fragile happiness of their community if they ever become known.

Canongate, paperback, 9780857861320 (August)

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Felicity McCall

A Pitying of Doves is the first short-story collection from award-winning playwright, screenplay writer and novelist Felicity McCall. Set against the backdrop of her native South Armagh, the stories reflect the symbiotic relationship between people and environment and explore how the circumstances of time and place may define our life far more than external politics.

Among her many characters, growing in familiarity from story to story, are dislocated, un-rooted, memorable figures, both haunted and haunting. They patrol the stories with an unnerving coincidence, strange casualties of the forces which propel childish gangs and adult passions to closure of a sort.

Guildhall Press, paperback, 9781906271350

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Helen Fitzgerald

Will Marion has two perfect kidneys. His daughters aren't so lucky. Question is: which one should he save? Will's 47. His wife bailed out when the twins were in nappies and hasn't been seen since. He coped OK by himself at first, giving Georgie and Kay all the love he could, working in a boring admin job to support them. Just after the twins turn sixteen, Georgie suffers kidney failure and is placed on dialysis. Her type is rare, and Will immediately offers to donate an organ. Without a transplant, she would probably never see adulthood. So far so good. But then Kay gets sick. She's also sixteen. Just as precious. Her kidney type just as rare. Time is critical, and he has to make a decision. Should he buy a kidney—be an organ tourist? Should he save one child? If so, which one? Should he sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution—one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind?

Faber & amp; Faber, paperback, 9780571254378 (July)

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Barbara Pym

When Barbara Pym died in 1980 she left a considerable amount of unpublished material. This volume contains an early novel, Civil to Strangers, three novellas and an autobiographical essay, 'Finding a Voice', Pym's only written comment on her writing career.

In Civil to Strangers the lives of a young couple, Cassandra Marsh-Gibbon and her self-absorbed writer husband Adam, are thrown into upheaval when a mysterious Hungarian arrives in their village.

Virago, paperback, 9781844087228 (July)

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Talitha Stevenson

Charlie Bell's picture is in the paper. He is a popular young man with a successful hedge fund and London is full of money. Then in one evening, everything changes. When his wife Leila threatens to leave him, a journey begins in which they are both forced to discover what they believe in. The plot sweeps the reader from glitzy pre-crisis London , through the Midsummer Night's Dream of rural Spain and then back again to the grittier London of The Hillford Estate and a charitable drop-in centre for kids.

Throughout the book, the inner stories reflect the outer one of the financial crisis. As grand illusions fade, Disappear questions the connection between couples, between family members, even between the helper and the helped. Ultimately it looks at our very sense of belonging and asks: is it possible simply to disappear from your own life?

Virago, paperback, 9781844082650

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Cressida Connolly

Spanning the second half of the last century, My Former Heart, Cressida Connolly's mesmerising first novel, charts the lives of three generations of Iris's family, the mother who walked away from her child. Ruth will be deserted again, many years later, by a husband she loves, but not before she has had two children by him. She leaves London to live with her uncle, where she creates a new life for herself with another woman. And we follow the lives of her two children, trying to make a place for themselves in the world in the shadow of the family that precedes them.

With its large cast of fascinating characters, this is an outstanding novel about families and their ability to adapt.

Fourth Estate, hardcover, 978-0007287116 (August)

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Babara Comyns

This is the story of the Willoweed family and the English village in which they live. It begins mid-flood, ducks swimming in the drawing-room windows, "quacking their approval" as they sail around the room. "What about my rose beds?" demands Grandmother Willoweed. Her son shouts down her ear-trumpet that the garden is submerged, dead animals everywhere, she will be lucky to get a bunch. Then the miller drowns himself…then the butcher slits his throat…and a series of gruesome deaths plagues the villagers. The newspaper asks, "Who will be smitten by this fatal madness next?" Through it all, Comyns' unique voice weaves a text as wonderful as it is horrible, as beautiful as it is cruel. Originally published in England in 1954, this "overlooked small masterpiece" is a twisted, tragicomic gem.

Dorothy, a publishing project, paperback, 9780984469311

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Sylvia Townsend Warner

This, arguably Sylvia Townsend Warner's most luminous collection of stories, was first published in 1966 and includes 'A Love Match', hailed by the Los Angeles Times as 'a supreme example of her technique.' It is the tale of Celia and Justin Tizard, sister and war-scarred brother, whose uncommon closeness becomes the talk of a small English village. Sylvia Townsend Warner was one of the most talented and well-respected British authors of the twentieth century. Today she is shamefully under-read. Her short stories have been particularly neglected—and yet, intelligent, lyrical, beautifully crafted, they constitute some of the very best of her work.

Faber & Faber, paperback, 9780571280100 (July)

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Bella Pollen

In 1980 Germany, under Cold War tension, a mole is suspected in the British Embassy. When the clever diplomat Nicky Fleming dies suddenly and suspiciously, it’s convenient to brand him the traitor. But was his death an accident, murder, or suicide? As the government digs into Nicky's history, his wife, Letty, relocates with her three children to a remote Scottish island hoping to salvage their family. But the isolated shores of her childhood retreat only intensify their distance, and it is Letty's brilliant and peculiar youngest child, Jamie, who alone holds on to the one thing he's sure of: his father has promised to return and he was a man who never broke a promise.

Exploring the island, Jamie and his teenaged sisters discover that a domesticated brown bear has been marooned on shore, hiding somewhere among the seaside caves. Jamie feels that the bear may have a strange connection to his father, and as he seeks the truth, his father's story surfaces in unexpected ways. Bella Pollen has an uncanny ability to capture the unnoticeable moments in which families grow quiet. A novel about the corrosive effects of secrets and the extraordinary imagination of youth, The Summer of the Bear is Pollen's most ambitious and affecting book yet.

Pan, paperback, 9780330519069; Grove Press, hardcover, 9780802119742

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Jill McGivering

Layla is just thirteen when the men with the beards and guns burn down her beloved father's school and begin to terrorise the Swat valley region of Pakistan. She has to flee, exchanging the tranquil beauty of the Himalayas for the squalor of a camp for refugees from the Taliban near Peshawar. With her life torn apart by tragedy, Layla must choose between the old fashioned way of life with her family—or a journey into independence which could threaten her very survival. Trying to find out what lies behind mysterious deaths at the camp is foreign correspondent Ellen Thomas. As a strong woman in a man's world, Ellen is used to risking her life to uncover the truth. United by the gentle schoolteacher who had risked his life to save books, the paths of Layla and Ellen collide in a common cause.

Jill McGivering has worked in journalism for 25 years. She is currently a senior foreign news correspondent with the BBC. She has already written non-fiction, short fiction and plays. The Last Kestrel was her first novel.

Blue Door, paperback, 9780007338191

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Amanda Coe

This novel is about two very different girls growing up in a tough Yorkshire town in the 1970s—spoilt Gemma, who seems to have everything, and neglected Pauline, who has less than nothing. But that is not the only story. A tale of penny sweets, suburban back gardens, swimming trips and Butlins holidays makes way for something altogether more sinister. And it is this story that will pull you towards its unimaginable climax, leaving you—haunted? Heartbroken? Angry? This is the story that won't let you go. This is the story you won't be able to forget. This is What They Do in the Dark.

Virago (UK), paperback, 9781844087068 (July); W.W. Norton (US), hardcover, 2012.