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The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Author : Christy Lefteri

Genre : Fiction

I enjoy books, both fiction and nonfiction, where the author seeks to answer a question. Christy Lefteri’s question is: What does it mean to see?

She found herself a witness of a shattered world when, in 2016 and 2017, she worked as a volunteer at a UNICEF-supported refugee center in Athens, Greece. At that time, people were flooding into the city daily—from Syria, from Afghanistan—and the experience of being there for these people during the most horrific circumstances of their lives opened her eyes.

She wrote this fictional story because it was in her heart  and she was full to the brim with sadness. And so Afra came to life, a woman who has seen her son die, and who had been blinded by the explosion that killed him. Then, while doing her research, she met a refugee living in the north of England who had once been a beekeeper in Syria. She wanted to explore the internal conflicts, the way memory is affected, the way we are with people we care about most in the world when we have suffered so much loss that we are broken. She sets forth the idea that among profound, unspeakable loss, humans can still find love and light—and see one another.

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