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"Every morning, Nuri the beekeeper rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, his wife Afra, a gifted artist, sells her paintings at the open-air market in the square. They live simply, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo -- until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey toward in uncertain future in Britain. Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, this is a story for our times: It reminds us that our lives can be upended instanty -- and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten." -- Back cover.
This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable. “A beautifully crafted novel of international significance that has the capacity to have us open our eyes and see.”—Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz WINNER OF THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE • FINALIST FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain. Nuri is sustained only by the knowledge that waiting for them is his cousin Mustafa, who has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees beekeeping. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss but dangers that would overwhelm even the bravest souls. Above all, they must make the difficult journey back to each other, a path once so familiar yet rendered foreign by the heartache of displacement. Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten. Praise for The Beekeeper of Aleppo “This book dips below the deafening headlines, and tells a true story with subtlety and power.”—Esther Freud, author of Mr. Mac and Me “This compelling tale had me gripped with its compassion, its sensual style, and its onward and lively urge for resolution.”—Daljit Nagra, author of British Museum “This novel speaks to so much that is happening in the world today. It’s intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant, but very importantly it is accessible. I’m recommending this book to everyone I care about.”—Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Refugee Boy
A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB CHOICE 2020 A BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB CHOICE 2019 WINNER OF THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE THE READING AGENCY'S PICK FOR NATIONAL READING GROUP DAY OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE 'This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes' Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz In the midst of war, he found love In the midst of darkness, he found courage In the midst of tragedy, he found hope What will you find from his story? Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all - and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face - they must journey to find each other again. Moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling. Look out for Christy Lefteri's next novel, Songbirds, out summer 2021. ___ 'This book dips below the deafening headlines, and tells a true story with subtlety and power' Esther Freud 'A beautiful novel, intelligent, thoughtful; and relevant. I'm recommending this book to everyone I care about. So I'm recommending this book to you' Benjamin Zephaniah 'Powerful, thought-provoking and beautifully crafted' Choice Magazine
Book The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq Description/Summary:
The true story of a beekeeper who risks his life to rescue enslaved women from Daesh Since 2014, Daesh (ISIS) has been brutalizing the Yazidi people of northern Iraq: sowing destruction, killing those who won’t convert to Islam, and enslaving young girls and women. The Beekeeper, by the acclaimed poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, tells the harrowing stories of several women who managed to escape the clutches of Daesh. Mikhail extensively interviews these women—who’ve lost their families and loved ones, who’ve been sexually abused, psychologically tortured, and forced to manufacture chemical weapons—and as their tales unfold, an unlikely hero emerges: a beekeeper, who uses his knowledge of the local terrain, along with a wide network of transporters, helpers, and former cigarette smugglers, to bring these women, one by one, through the war-torn landscapes of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, back into safety. In the face of inhuman suffering, this powerful work of nonfiction offers a counterpoint to Daesh’s genocidal extremism: hope, as ordinary people risk their own lives to save those of others.
1914. Thomas Maggs is thirteen and lives with his parents and sister at the Blue Anchor pub, in the village of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. Born in winter while the sea stormed, Thomas is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. In Dunwich, life is quiet and shaped by the seasons: fishing and farming, the summer visitors, and the girls who come down from the Highlands to gut and pack the herring. Thomas visits his brothers' grave in the churchyard, sketches the boats from the harbor, and longs for adventure -- a chance to go to sea. Then one day a mysterious Scotsman and his red-haired wife arrive in the village. The man's name is Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but the locals are soon calling him Mac. Mac and his wife are both artists, regarded as eccentrics in town, but a source of wonder and fascination for Thomas. Yet just as Thomas and Mac's friendship begins to bloom, war with Germany is declared. The summer guests flee, replaced by regiments of soldiers on their way to Belgium. And as the war weighs increasingly heavily on the community, the villagers on the home front become increasingly suspicious of Mac and his curious behavior. Mr. Mac and Me is the story of an unlikely friendship, and a vivid portrait of one of the most brilliant and misunderstood artists of his generation.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'A unique and thoughtful musical memoir' Observer 'Gritty coming-of-age story . . . plenty of anecdotes to keep us hooked, and his memories of Joy Division's Ian Curtis are poignant' Daily Mirror Before he was responsible for some of the most iconic drumming in popular music, Stephen Morris grew up in 1960s and '70s industrial Macclesfield, on a quiet road that led seemingly to nowhere. Far removed from the bright lights and manic energy of nearby Manchester, he felt stifled by suburbia and feared he might never escape. Then he joined Joy Division - while they were still known as Warsaw - a pioneer of the rousing post-punk sound that would revolutionise twentieth-century rock. Following two landmark albums and widespread critical acclaim, Joy Division were at the height of their powers and poised to break the US, when lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide. Part memoir, part scrapbook and part aural history: Stephen Morris's innate sense of rhythm and verve pulses through Record Play Pause. From recollections of growing up in the North West to the founding of New Order, Morris never strays far from the music. And by turns profound and wry, this book subverts the mythology and allows us to understand music's power to define who we are and what we become.
An eye for an eye. It's very simple. You choose your homeland like a hyena picking and choosing where he steals his next meal from. Scavenger. Yes you grovel to the feet of Mengistu and when his people spit at you and kick you from the bowl you scuttle across the border. Scavenger. As a violent civil war rages back home, teenager Alem and his father are in a B&B in Berkshire. It's his best holiday ever. The next morning his father is gone and has left a note explaining that he and his mother want to protect Alem from the war. This strange grey country of England is now his home. On his own, and in the hands of the social services and the Refugee Council, he lives from letter to letter, waiting to hear something from his father. Then Alem meets car-obsessed Mustapha, the lovely 'out of your league' Ruth and dangerous Sweeney – three unexpected allies who spur him on as Alem fights to be seen as more than just the Refugee Boy. Based on the novel by Benjamin Zephaniah, Refugee Boy is an urgent story of a courageous African boy sent to England to escape the violent civil war, a story about arriving, belonging and finding 'home'.
An astonishing World War II story of a trio of fearless female resisters whose youth and innocence belied their extraordinary daring in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It also made them the underground’s most invaluable commodity. May 10, 1940. The Netherlands was swarming with Third Reich troops. In seven days it’s entirely occupied by Nazi Germany. Joining a small resistance cell in the Dutch city of Haarlem were three teenage girls: Hannie Schaft, and sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen who would soon band together to form a singular female underground squad. Smart, fiercely political, devoted solely to the cause, and “with nothing to lose but their own lives,” Hannie, Truus, and Freddie took terrifying direct action against Nazi targets. That included sheltering fleeing Jews, political dissidents, and Dutch resisters. They sabotaged bridges and railways, and donned disguises to lead children from probable internment in concentration camps to safehouses. They covertly transported weapons and set military facilities ablaze. And they carried out the assassinations of German soldiers and traitors–on public streets and in private traps–with the courage of veteran guerilla fighters and the cunning of seasoned spies. In telling this true story through the lens of a fearlessly unique trio of freedom fighters, Tim Brady offers a fascinating perspective of the Dutch resistance during the war. Of lives under threat; of how these courageous young women became involved in the underground; and of how their dedication evolved into dangerous, life-threatening missions on behalf of Dutch patriots–regardless of the consequences. Harrowing, emotional, and unforgettable, Three Ordinary Girls finally moves these three icons of resistance into the deserved forefront of world history.
A singular and powerful debut novel about a young black American learning the difficulties of forming your own identity when society has already assigned you one Like most recent college graduates, Jonah Winters is unsure of what's next. A young black American raised in France and living in New York City, he tries on a couple of careers only to find that nothing feels right. And as Jonah struggles to envision his future, he feels pressured by his friends and family to put the struggles of his community before his search for self. But then a chance encounter with an ex-NBA player with his own regrets, inspires Jonah to take his life into his own hands. Deciding to leave the country entirely, he sets off for Brazil. And as he makes and breaks friendships on the way, reflects on his past relationships, and learns to rely on himself, Jonah slowly forms an understanding of self, community, and freedom that is rarely afforded to young black men.
Inspired by her own experiences in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule, Gina Wilkinson’s evocative, suspenseful debut is told through the eyes of three very different women confronting the limits of friendship and forgiveness, and the strength of a mother’s love. At night, in Huda’s fragrant garden, a breeze sweeps in from the desert encircling Baghdad, rustling the leaves of her apricot trees and carrying warning of visitors at her gate. Huda, a secretary at the Australian embassy, lives in fear of the mukhabarat—the secret police who watch and listen for any scrap of information that can be used against America and its allies. They have ordered her to befriend Ally Wilson, the deputy ambassador’s wife. Huda has no wish to be an informant, but fears for her teenaged son, who may be forced to join a deadly militia. Nor does she know that Ally has dangerous secrets of her own. Huda’s former friend, Rania, enjoyed a privileged upbringing as the daughter of a sheikh. Now her family’s wealth is gone, and Rania too is battling to keep her child safe and a roof over their heads. As the women’s lives intersect, their hidden pasts spill into the present. Facing possible betrayal at every turn, all three must trust in a fragile, newfound loyalty, even as they discover how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect their families.
"In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. An epic compressed into a slender page-turner, Exit West is both completely of our time and for all time."--
In The Pact a gripping Kate Burkholder short mystery from New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo, a terrifying disappearance in Amish country reveals the power of friendship. Three days before Thanksgiving, two boys disappear without a trace. Eleven-year-old Aaron Kuhns is Amish. Kevin Dennison is twelve and “English.” They’re adventurers, explorers, and inseparable best friends. When they don’t return home from what was supposed to be a fun afternoon of fishing, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must find the missing boys before the first winter storm of the season bears down on Painters Mill.
'Read this book!' Caroline Lucas 'My money's on Magid.' Thandie Newton 'A man so inspiring you will have no choice but to cast your hopeless lethargy asunder' - Rufus Hound A guide to being courageous and community-minded, and to disrupting and dismantling age-old power structures in work, life and politics, written by someone who has done exactly that. Let's be honest. Magid Magid's story seems an unlikely one. He's a Somali-born black Muslim refugee who became the youngest ever Lord Mayor of Sheffield and one of the last UK MEPs. Magid has made headlines nationally and internationally for his creative ways of campaigning while not conforming to tradition and being unapologetically himself. Magid had no idea that the poster he dreamed up for a local music festival in 2018 would go viral. The poster contained the 10 commandments he tries to live by. He had no idea that this poster would come to represent a movement that has swept him to the heart of local and European establishment politics. Now, for the first time, he reveals the stories behind each of these 'commandments'; what drives him, the obstacles he overcame and what makes him hopeful. 'His voice and representation are inspirational and a force to reckon with.' Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, lawyer, activist and author 'It's easy to problematise the world, but Magid has offered us answers , solutions and even the possibility of a new politics.' Jon McClure, lead singer of Reverend and The Makers 'Magid's book could not be more timely. A must read for anyone who wants to change the world.' Chunky Mark, The Artist Taxi Driver
Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power. Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family. Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.
“Filled with kindness and hope, but also with the harsh realities of the horrors of war, this heartbreaking book is a necessary reminder of what many people live through every day.” —Booklist (starred review) Nadia’s family is forced to flee their home in Aleppo, Syria, when the Arab Spring sparks a civil war in this timely coming-of-age novel from award-winning author N.H. Senzai. Silver and gold balloons. A birthday cake covered in pink roses. A new dress. Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street. Beside it is a mound of smoldering ashes. The reporter explains that a vegetable vendor in the city of Tunis burned himself alive, protesting corrupt government officials who have been harassing his business. Nadia frowns. It is December 17, 2010: Nadia’s twelfth birthday and the beginning of the Arab Spring. Soon anti-government protests erupt across the Middle East and, one by one, countries are thrown into turmoil. As civil war flares in Syria and bombs fall across Nadia’s home city of Aleppo, her family decides to flee to safety. Inspired by current events, this novel sheds light on the complicated situation in Syria that has led to an international refugee crisis, and tells the story of one girl’s journey to safety.
'Every time gardens welcomed us, we said to them,Aleppo is our aim and you are merely the route.' Al-Mutanabbi Aleppo lies in ruins. Its streets are plunged in darkness, most of its population has fled. But this was once a vibrant world city, where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived and traded together in peace. Few places are as ancient and diverse as Aleppo - one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities in the world - successively ruled by the Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Ottoman and French empires. Under the Ottomans, it became the empire's third largest city, after Constantinople and Cairo. It owed its wealth to its position at the end of the Silk Road, at a crossroads of world trade, where merchants from Venice, Isfahan and Agra gathered in the largest suq in the Middle East. Throughout the region, it was famous for its food and its music. For 400 years British and French consuls and merchants lived in Aleppo; many of their accounts are used here for the first time. In the first history of Aleppo in English, Dr Philip Mansel vividly describes its decline from a pinnacle of cultural and economic power, a poignant testament to a city shattered by Syria's civil war.
Daljit Nagra possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary English poetry. British Museum is his third collection, following his electrifying version of the epic Ramayana, and marks a significant departure of style to something quieter, more contemplative and inquisitive, at times valedictory. His political edge has been honed in a series of meditations and reflections upon our heritage, our legacy, and the institutions that define them: the BBC, Hadrian's Wall, the Sikh gurdwaras of our towns, the British Museum of the title poem. With compassion and charisma, Nagra explores the impact of the first wave of mass migration to our shores, the Arab Spring, the allure of extremism along with a series of personal poems about the pressures of growing up in a traditional community. British Museum is a book that asks profound questions of our ethics and responsibilities at a time of great challenge to our sense of national identity.
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate. Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper. When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran. A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again. Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her? The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria’s ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. His final wish, conveyed to his youngest son, Bolbol, is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya. Though Abdel was hardly an ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, this conscientious son persuades his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and the body to Anabiya, which is—after all—only a two-hour drive from Damascus. There’s only one problem: Their country is a war zone. With the landscape of their childhood now a labyrinth of competing armies whose actions are at once arbitrary and lethal, the siblings’ decision to set aside their differences and honor their father’s request quickly balloons from a minor commitment into an epic and life-threatening quest. Syria, however, is no longer a place for heroes, and the decisions the family must make along the way—as they find themselves captured and recaptured, interrogated, imprisoned, and bombed—will prove to have enormous consequences for all of them.