Belletrista Blog

Favorite Belle Discoveries

December 19, 2010

Being a part of Belletrista has introduced me to so many new books and authors whose work I am eager to read more of.

I’ve been slowly working my way through Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s short story collection There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, which Tim Jones reviewed for Issue 8. My favorite pieces so far have been “Hygeine,” a dystopian and utterly macabre tale about a family desperate to escape from an unidentified pandemic, and the aptly named “Revenge,” which is probably the story from which the collection takes it name.  I confess that I bought this book before Tim reviewed it, thinking it was traditional Russian fairy tales with a nasty twist (ala the original, non-Disneyfied Grimm stories perhaps).  So far I’ve been wrong but I haven’t been disappointed in the least.

Other discoveries this year (which I admit I haven’t yet had time to actually read!):  Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, which Rachel Hayes reviewed for Issue 3; The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, which Barbara Steeg reviewed also in Issue 3; and Rien Ne Va Plus, which Akeela Gaibie-Dawood reviewed in Issue 4.

How about our readers?  Looking back on Belle in 2010, what have been your favorite discoveries through this site?  What books did we feature that you are most looking forward to reading?

3 Comments for this entry

  • M. Lynx Qualey

    Adania Shibli’s /Touch/. So beautiful, and I really like how Paula Haydar renders English.

    Radwa Ashour’s /Specters/. Not her most accessible work, but fascinating, layered, worth reading and re-reading.

    Miral al-Tahawy’s /Brooklyn Heights/. Thoughtful, insightful, layered, lovely.

  • Jana

    I read Rien ne vas Plus by Margarita Karapanou after it was reviewed by Akeela Gaibie-Dawood in Issue 4. It’s an interesting book, as is Ornela Vorpsi’s The Country Where No One Ever Dies, which I think was in the New and Notable section of Issue 2. I agree with the poster above, Touch is indeed beautifully rendered in English. I’m looking forward to her next book in translation late in 2011.

    I have bought others but have just not read them yet!

  • Char

    I really want to read ‘Touch’ – I thought the conversation piece about in Belletrista it was great.

    My favourite Belle discovery so far has been ‘The Wake’ by Margo Glantz which I reviewed in Issue 5. It was such a moving and challenging story and another fabulous translation.

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