The History of Bees by Maja Lunde is set in three different times and in three different countries - nineteenth century England, present day Ohio and Beijing at the end of the 21st century. Each storyline considers the lot of bees and beekeepers: William is designing a new type of hive, George; in Ohio, is trying to stick with traditional methods even though beekeeping and farming are becoming increasingly industrialised and Tao, in 2098, works as a human pollinator as all all the bees have died out.
Maja Lunde joins James Naughtie, and Bookclub listeners to talk about this complex , timely novel; about the ecological beliefs which drive her writing and her hopes for the future.
In November, Rachel Joyce will be joining James Naughtie for the next Bookclub recording, answering your questions about her bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Do get in touch via the website (click Take Part In A Recording) if you would like to ask Rachel a question.
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr talks to James Naughtie and a group of readers about his novel All the Light We Cannot See, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Set largely in St Malo in the 1940's, It tells the twin stories of Werner and Marie Laure,. They are on opposite sides during World War Two, but find themselves linked by a love of radio, and storytelling. Meanwhile, a Nazi officer is hunting down a diamond, which is said to be cursed. Anthony Doerr talks about how he tackled writing this highly structured, sweeping, adventure-filled tale.
Presenter : James Naughtie
Producer : Nicola Holloway
November's Bookclub Choice : The History of Bees by Maja Lunde . Email us at [email protected] if you have a question for Maja.
Lissa Evans - Old Baggage
Lissa Evans talks to James Naughtie and a group of her readers about her novel Old Baggage.
Set in 1928, it tells the story of Matilda Simpkin, who was an activist during the Women’s Suffrage Campaign. Jailed five times, Mattie marched, sang, gave speeches and smashed windows, and nothing since then has had the same depth or excitement. After a chance meeting with 15-year-old Ida, she sets out on a new venture, starting a girls’ club to help young women gain and maintain independence.
Old Baggage was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Literature 2019.
Presenter : James Naughtie
Producer : Dymphna Flynn
For details on how to take part in Bookclub email us at [email protected]
October’s Bookclub Choice : All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014)
Tahmima Anam - A Golden Age
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam is set fifty years ago, during the Bangladesh War of Independence. The conflict is seen through the eyes of Rehana, a fiercely protective mother, whose children join the fighting. Rehana, though not a natural revolutionary, becomes involved in the conflict herself, determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family intact.
Tahmima Anam joins James Naughtie to answer questions from readers about this powerful, award winning book.
Francis Spufford - Golden Hill
Francis Spufford’s novel Golden Hill won the Costa Book Award, the Ondaatje Prize and the Desmond Elliot Prize and was shortlisted for a host of others. It’s been described by critics as ‘a crackerjack novel of old Manhattan’, ‘Like a newly discovered novel by Henry Fielding with extra material by Martin Scorsese’, and ‘utterly captivating’.
Francis joins James Naughtie and a group of his readers to discuss this novel set in the embryo metropolis of 18th Century New York.
Presenter: James Naughtie
Producer: Allegra McIlroy
August’s Bookclub choice: A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam