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 130 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! (a book published in another country may not always be available to your library or local bookstore, but individuals usually can purchase them from the publishers or other online resources)

In this issue, because of our delayed publication, we have broadened our selection of books to inclue those which may have been published anywhere from this past August through February of next year. We hope this helps you plan all your winter (or summer, depending on where you live) reading! Enjoy!


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Angélica Gorodischer
Translated from the Spanish by Amalia Gladhart

Don't rush Trafalgar Medrano when he starts telling you about his latest intergalactic sales trip. He likes to stretch things out over precisely seven coffees. No one knows whether he actually travels to the stars, but he tells the best tall tales in the city, so why doubt him? Trafalgar is Angélica Gorodischer's second novel to be translated into English. Her first, Kalpa Imperial, was selected for the New York Times summer reading list.

Angélica Gorodischer lives in Rosario, Argentina. She has received many awards, most recently the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. REad an excerpt from this book in this issue.

Small Beer Press, paperback, 9781618730336 (February 2013)

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Lygia Fagundes Telles
Translated from the Portuguese by Margaret A. Neves

Complex and hauntingly beautiful, Lygia Fagundes Telles's most acclaimed novel is a journey into the inner lives of three young women, each revealing her secrets and loves, each awaiting a destiny tied to the colorful and violent world of modern Brazil. Sensual and wealthy Lorena dreams of a tryst with a married man. Unhappy Lia burns with a frantic desire to free her imprisoned fiancé. Glamorous Ana Clara, unable to escape her past, falls toward a tragedy of drugs and obsession. Intimate and unforgettable, The Girl in the Photograph creates an extraordinary picture of the wonder and the darkness that come to possess a woman's mind, and stands as one of the greatest novels to come out of Brazil in the late twentieth century.

Lygia Fagundes Telles (1923–) was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is one of the most respected authors in Brazilian literature. In 2005 she won the Camñes Prize, the greatest literary award in the Portuguese-speaking world, and she is one of only three female members of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Dalkey Archive, paperback, 9781564787842

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Suzanne Dracius
Translated from the French by Jamie David

Climb to the Sky collects a novella and eight stories by one of the most celebrated and versatile French Caribbean writers, Suzanne Dracius. Set in the author's native Martinique and spanning the twentieth century, these narratives display a powerful grasp of the individual set against an often violent history. The multi-generational novella "Her Destiny on Climb to the Sky Street" opens with the gripping account of a runaway slave's survival of disease and abuse aboard a slave ship and concludes with his descendant, a young woman living in a post-abolition world whose life of abuse and torture by her employers nonetheless resembles that of a slave. In "Sweat, Sugar, and Blood," a woman held captive by her husband in their home must choose between safe ignorance and dangerous knowledge. Other stories, such as "Chlorophyllian Creation" and "Written in Lime Juice," convey the intimacy and directness of autobiographical essays.

Each of Dracius's heroines achieves a transcendental experience through her own imagination and will, whether she is escaping natural catastrophe (such as the eruption of Mount Pelée), enduring jail time under interrogation by the national police, or coping with the ennui of life in a bourgeois home. Although the results of these historical, natural, or existential circumstances are unpredictable, what unites these women is deliverance.

Univ. of Virginia Press (US), paperback, 9780813933207

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Clarice Lispector
Translated from the Portuguese by Idra Novey

The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector's mystical novel of 1964, concerns a well-to-do Rio sculptress, G.H., who enters her maid's room, sees a cockroach crawling out of the wardrobe, and, panicking, slams the door—crushing the cockroach—and then watches it die. At the end of the novel, at the height of a spiritual crisis, comes the most famous and most genuinely shocking scene in Brazilian literature…Lispector wrote that of all her works this novel was the one that "best corresponded to her demands as a writer."

New Directions, paperback, 9780811219686

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Clarice Lispector
Translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called "Hurricane Clarice": a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: "He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life."

The book was an unprecedented sensation—the discovery of genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: "I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt."

Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) was a Brazilian journalist, translator and author of fiction. Born in Western Ukraine into a Jewish family who suffered greatly during the pogroms of the Russian Civil War, she was still an infant when her family fled the disastrous post-World War I situation for Rio de Janiero. At twenty-three, she became famous for her novel, Near to the Wild Heart, and married a Brazilian diplomat. She spent much of the forties and fifties in Europe and the United States, helping soldiers in a military hospital in Naples during World War II and writing, before leaving her husband and returning to Rio in 1959. Back home, she completed several novels including The Passion According to G.H. and The Hour of the Star before her death in 1977 from ovarian cancer.

New Directions, paperback, 9780811220026

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Flavia Company
Translated from the Spanish by Laura McGloughlin

The Island of Last Truth is a story of many mysteries, principal among them, the true identity of the enigmatic Dr. Matthew Prendel. Legend has is that Prendel, an expert sailor, had been shipwrecked years before the story opens in contemporary New York. His boat was attacked by pirates. He survived thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, while his entire crew perished. But then found himself embroiled in a ferocious fight for survival between two castaways on a desert island. There, too, he was lucky and came out the victor. Or perhaps luck played no part in it. Perhaps something darker was at play. And at stake. The only thing sure is that Matthew Prendel disappeared for five whole years. He has been back in New York now for a couple of years. That's what they say at least. Though one should never rely entirely on hearsay…

Flavia Company was born in Buenos Aires in 1963 and has lived in Barcelona since 1973. She is the author of twelve novels. Her fiction has been translated and published in more than six languages. She teaches writing at the Ateneo Barcelonés.

Europa Editions, paperback, 9781609450816 (November)

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Olga Orozco
Translated from the Spanish by Mary Berg, Melanie Nicholson

This collection introduces English-speaking readers to the hallucinatory yet lucid world that Orozco's young narrator, Lía, inhabits and animates with her prodigious imagination and the reality of small-town life on the Argentine plains in the 1920s. It is this landscape of her childhood home that shapes her narrative voice.

It is the landscape of her childhood home that shapes her narrative voice. In this mirage-like world of shifting dunes, shimmering horizons, crumbling buildings and vibrating fields of sunflowers, the young girl Lía—Orozco's alter ego—watches and wonders, acts and is acted upon. Fixed in the center of the erratic exterior world is the family home, the refuge to which the child retreats for protection and solace, but which at times resembles a space of mystery and menace.

Olga Orozco (1920 ‒ 1999) is considered to be one of the major Argentine writers of the 20th century. She won over a dozen major prizes and awards for her poetry and short stories, and has been translated into at least fifteen languages.

White Pine Press, paperback, 97819352196

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Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez has been called "a one-woman cultural collision" by the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and that has never been truer than in this story about three of her most personal relationships--with her parents, with her husband, and with a young Haitian boy known as Piti. A teenager when Julia and her husband, Bill, first met him in 2001, Piti crossed the border into the Dominican Republic to find work. Julia, impressed by his courage, charmed by his smile, has over the years come to think of him as a son, even promising to be at his wedding someday. When Piti calls in 2009, Julia's promise is tested.To Alvarez, much admired for her ability to lead readers deep inside her native Dominican culture, "Haiti is like a sister I've never gotten to know." And so we follow her across the border into what was once the richest of all the French colonies and now teeters on the edge of the abyss--first for the celebration of a wedding and a year later to find Piti's loved ones in the devastation of the earthquake. As in all of Alvarez's books, a strong message is packed inside an intimate, beguiling story, this time about the nature of poverty and of wealth, of human love and of human frailty, of history and of the way we live now.

Algonquin Books (US), hardcover, 9781616201303

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Ifeona Fulani

Following the hearts and desires of Caribbean people in search of love and the means to make a life in unfamiliar places, this collection of short stories travels from the lush hills and sunny beaches of Jamaica to London, New York, and Calcutta. The tales observe their characters in their contacts with family, tourists, and strangers, as they seek to remake themselves while dealing with the baggage of past experience, both personal and historic. In the title story, a Jamaican youth hustles a living as an escort to tourists. In "Fevergrass Tea," a young woman returns from New York to her hometown in Jamaica to find that she no longer understands the subtle languages of class distinction and romantic dalliance. In "Elephant Dreams," black Londoner Jewel's childhood dreams of riding an elephant lead her to India, where her lover Arjun will introduce her to his family. Ifeona Fulani shows her characters at points where self-discovery is possible and they can reach an awareness of where the sharp edges of desire and reality meet head on.

Peepal Tree Press (UK), paperback, 9781845231996 (December)

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