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Grey Bees

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Description

Ukraine's most famous novelist dramatises the conflict raging in his country through the adventu... Read More

Product Description

Ukraine's most famous novelist dramatises the conflict raging in his country through the adventures of a mild-mannered beekeeper.

"A warm and surprisingly funny book from Ukraine's greatest living novelist" Charlie Connelly, New European Books of the Year


Little Starhorodivka, a village of three streets, lies in Ukraine's Grey Zone, the no-man's-land between loyalist and separatist forces. Thanks to the war, only two residents remain: retired safety inspector turned beekeeper Sergey Sergeyich and Pashka, his "frenemy" from his schooldays.

With little food and no electricity, under ever-present threat of bombardment, Sergeyich's one remaining pleasure is his bees. As spring approaches, he knows he must take them far from the Grey Zone so they can collect their pollen in peace.

This simple mission on their behalf introduces him to combatants and civilians on both sides of the battle lines: loyalists, separatists, Russian occupiers and Crimean Tatars. Wherever he goes, Sergeyich's childlike simplicity and strong moral compass disarm everyone he meets.

But could these qualities be manipulated to serve an unworthy cause, spelling disaster for him, his bees and his country?

Translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk

Ukraine's most famous novelist dramatises the conflict raging in his country through the adventures of a mild-mannered beekeeper.

A latter-day Bulgakov . . . A Ukrainian Murakami.A post-Soviet Kafka.Kurkov draws us with deceptive ease into a dense complex world full of wonderful characters.A kind of Ukrainian Kurt VonnegutThis time, the Ukrainian author of Death and the Penguin, known for his brilliantly dark humour, has written a modern-day odyssey, with a return that is ambiguously hopeful.Strange and mesmerising . . . In spare prose, Ukraine's most famous novelist unsparingly examines the inhuman confusions of our modern times and the longing of the warm-hearted everyman that is Sergeyich for the rationality of the natural world.A warm and surprisingly funny book from Ukraine's greatest living novelist.Carries top notes of Beckett and Pinter, along with a slug of Kafka.Sergey is at once a war-weary adventurer and a fairy-tale innocent . . . His naive gaze allows Kurkov to get to the heart of a country bewildered by crisis and war, but where kindness can still be found . . . Translated by Boris Dralyuk with sensitivity and ingenuity.

Product Details

Title: Grey Bees
Author: Andrey KurkovBoris Dralyuk
SKU: BK0469418
EAN: 9780857059352
Language: English
Binding: Paperback

About Author

Born near Leningrad in 1961, ANDREY KURKOV was a journalist, prison warder, cameraman and screenplay-writer before he became well known as a novelist. He received "hundreds of rejections" and was a pioneer of self-publishing, selling more than 75,000 copies of his books in a single year. His novel Death and the Penguin, his first in English translation, became an international bestseller, translated into more than thirty languages. As well as writing fiction for adults and children, he has become known as a commentator and journalist on Ukraine for the international media. His work of reportage, Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, was published in 2014, followed by the novel The Bickford Fuse (MacLehose Press, 2016). He lives in Kiev with his British wife and their three children.BORIS DRALYUK is an award-winning translator and the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He taught Russian literature for a number of years at UCLA and at the University of St Andrews. He is a co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski) of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, and has translated Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories, as well as Kurkov's The Bickford Fuse. In 2020 he received the inaugural Kukula Award for Excellence in Non-fiction Book Reviewing from the Washington Monthly.

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