This extract from the novel "The Bees" by Laline Paull is presented as part of the UK-Russia Year of language and Literature 2016's New writing from the UK: a competition for Russian translators of English.
The translation is made by Bulat Vafin (Kazan).
Laline Paull "The Bees" (2015)
Genre: Fiction – Literary SFF
Publisher: Fourth Estate/ HarperCollins
Awards: Shortlisted for Baileys Womens Prize for Fiction, 2015; Long listed for Desmond Elliott, 2015
Laline Paull was born in England. Her parents were first-generation Indian immigrants. She studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theatre in London, where she has had two plays performed at the Royal National Theatre. She is a member of BAFTA and the Writers’ Guild of America. She lives just outside Hastings on the south coast of England, with her husband (the photographer Adrian Peacock), her daughter, two step-sons and one ancient cat.
The Bees is her first novel and she’s currently working on her second.
Enter a whole new world, in this thrilling debut novel set entirely within a beehive. Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. She also finds her way into the Queens inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous. But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all her instinct to serve is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce love that will lead to the unthinkable... Laline Paulls chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world both alien and uncannily familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, The Bees is the story of a heroine who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world.