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

About Us

Belletrista is a not-for-profit, bimonthly web magazine which seeks both to encourage cross-cultural understanding through international literature written by women, and to increase the visibility of these works.

Established in August of 2009, Belletrista was born out of the frustration over the lack of women's voices in translated literature. While the magazine includes women-authored literature both in English and in translation, Belletrista does hope to emphasize the work of women from outside the English-speaking world, an important resource for all readers in this increasing global world. Of the small percentage of literature published each year that is translated literature—three percent has been quoted— only a tiny fraction is books by women. We seek to change that.

The magazine has been developed and honed with the assistance of a remarkable international group of readers who came together as our Board of Advisors, each bringing to the magazine special skills, talents and education. Our initial group of writers and reviewers come from the US, UK, continental Europe, Canada, Ireland, Australia and South Africa, a list that is expanding.

We approach our mission as readers, not as academics or book industry professionals. Belletrista hopes to bring its unique view of women-authored, global literature to a broad audience of international booklovers, from the seasoned fan of world literature to the passionate reader who is just venturing beyond familiar literary shores.

We are working on a new website that may take Belletrista out of its current bi-monthly issue format. Watch for changes later in 2012. And, as always, if you have suggestions, comments or questions, please send them along to comments [at] belletrista [dot] com. A majority of our content is freelance-written. Writers should note that we do not accept submissions of original fiction or poetry. We do not accept unsolicited material of any kind; however, if you think you have something to contribute to our magazine please feel free to contact us at editor [at] belletrista [dot] com and inquire. We are working up more comprehensive informational pages that will assist with writer, author and publisher's queries.

Belletrista has been formally recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Contributors to this Issue

Kathleen Ambrogi is an American who has spent most of her life abroad, in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. After earning her M.S. in English Education, she taught English, Social Science, Art and Information Technology in schools around the world. Today she is a professional writer, sharing her impressions of cultural forces through fiction and nonfiction.

Lois Ava-Matthew is the founder and managing editor of Belletrista. She contributes to every issue, sometimes under her own name, sometimes under the pseudonyms of Jana Herlander or Kate Morgan, but most often invisibly between the lines of HTML. She is grateful for the talented, dedicated writers who have been riding the Belletrista bus with her.

Andy Barnes lives in Bristol in the United Kingdom. He is an avid reader on a mission to discover great writing from as many parts of the globe as possible. Andy works in one bookshop, and volunteers in another, and when he isn't reading or selling books, he is usually talking or writing about them.

Tad Deffler spent the first quarter of his life (so far) moving around the world as an Army brat, the second quarter of his life acquiring degrees he doesn’t use, the third quarter trying to figure out what the fourth and subsequent quarters should be about, and the last quarter working for a long series of companies without ever moving his desk as his tiny software company got acquired by ever-larger ones. He lives in New Jersey but spends as much time in Ontario as he can wangle.

Caitlin Fehir is an English teacher living in southern Ontario, Canada. Her reading tastes change daily, and she is constantly adding to her never-ending list of books to explore. Her new-found love is traveling, an expensive hobby that is supplemented by seeing the world through literature.

Akeela Gaibie-Dawood lives in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. She enjoys nature and is a keen hiker. She loves books and the written word, and has a Masters degree in journalism. Her current reading challenge is to visit as many countries around the world, via books, as possible.

Amalia Gladhart is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon. She has published widely on contemporary Latin American theater and narrative, and her poetry and short fiction have appeared in journals such as Iowa Review, Stone Canoe, Bellingham Review and Permafrost. Her published translations include Beyond the Islands and The Potbellied Virgin, both novels by Alicia Yánez Cossío, and "Reunion," by Ecuadorian writer Gilda Holst. She is currently working on a translation of short stories by Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer.

Rachel Hayes is a Brit living in Belgium. She reads a variety of mainly contemporary fiction, and enjoys seeking out translated fiction from areas of the world her literary travels haven't taken her to before. She attributes her interest in books written by women to an early obsession with Little Women, What Katy Did and The Chalet School.

Tim Jones is an author, poet, editor and anthologist who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His third collection of poetry, Men Briefly Explained, will be published by Interactive Press (Brisbane, Aus) in late 2011. As a reader, he especially enjoys Russian and South American literature in translation, poetry from New Zealand and around the world, and science fiction—plus everything from Elizabeth Jane Howard novels to Buffy comics.

Judy Lim lives on a few acres on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, with two dogs, three cats, a husband and one of three children. The other two living in various parts of the world at any given time. After many years teaching preschool children, and a few different University degrees, she has settled into the life of a Youth Services Librarian with every spare moment dedicated to reading.

Amanda Meale is a music teacher who loves to read. She lives near Sydney, Australia.

Darryl Morris is a pediatrician who lives in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Half of his days are spent taking care of hospitalized children, and he uses his time off to travel in the US and abroad, and to attend jazz and classical music concerts, plays, museum exhibits, and author readings, whenever he isn't reading.

Joyce Nickel is a corporate writer from Vancouver, Canada. When she's not reading or traveling, she can be found enjoying the outdoor lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.

Maggie Oldendorf, our assistant editor, has a Masters degree in English Literature and a wide array of interests, ranging from her longstanding regard for the soldier poets of World War I (who she discovered when in the seventh grade) to her more recent enthusiasm for historical embroidery. She lives with her family in a house filled with books somewhere north of New York City.

Jean Hughes Raber teaches college English and journalism in Michigan (US). She has a master's degree with a concentration in medieval literature from Central Michigan University. The first book she ever read by herself was The Cat in the Hat. In 50 years of enthusiastic reading, she has never found a more profound parable of totalitarian authority (Fish) vs. joyful anarchy (Cat). She lives with her husband, son, and three joyfully anarchistic cats, all of whom just stepped in on the mat one day and never left.

Lisa Sanders is a professional librarian and archivist living in the Seattle area with her husband, daughter, and various pets. Currently, she enjoys reading about women in the Middle East, Jewish literature and history, and international fiction of all kinds. However, in a pinch, the back of a cereal box will do. Loves gardening, travel, and watching her daughter discover the joys of reading.

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