Best-selling Norwegian Author Maja Lunde created Harry Potter circumstances in the bookstores before Christmas last year. In Germany, she was the author selling the highest number of books in 2018. Best-selling Norwegian author Maja Lunde’s book The History of Bees has been sold to 32 territories.
Previously Lunde has been focused on writing for children and television. In 2015, however, she wrote The History of Bees, which was no. 1 on Der Spiegel’s bestseller-list in May 2017, and the book has been on the list for more than 100 weeks.
Her first novel feels uncomfortably close to non-fiction that hasn’t quite happened yet. Pesticides kill the bees. Crops die. We die. Maja Lunde creates the strong sense of already being halfway down an apocalyptic path and she provides a lot of possible answers about environmentalism.
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The History of Bees
The History of Bees follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.
The story begins in England in 1852, where William shutters his seed shop and takes to bed, unable to buck up even as his family comes close to starvation. Cross to Ohio 155 years later, another father, George, has spent his life keeping bees the old-fashioned way, and he expects his only child, Tom, to do the same.
In 2098 China, Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.
The book may feel a bit sticky-sweet in places, and the humans-as-bees metaphor that provides the struts for the story is at times less than subtle.
Best-selling Norwegian Author Maja Lunde
“I think you need to ask an expert on weather and water and endangered species. They know the numbers. What I do is I try to imagine how it can be. The lack of water is also a main issue in my book, Blue (1917), which takes place in 2041 and the bees have started to disappear already. So, I start out with just trying to imagine how things can be and can look — but it is fiction,” said Maja Lunde in an interview with The Talks.
Maja Lunde is one of Norway’s most successful authors on the international stage. She is an educated media specialist with a master’s degree from the University of Oslo and works as an author and screenwriter. She has written nine children’s and young adult books, including “Battle”, “Across the Border” and the series “The Coolest Gang in the World”.
She has also written the script for the TV series “Children’s Supershow”, the drama series “Home” and the humor series “Side by Side”, among others. All of these were huge successes.
“The History of Bees” (2015) was her first novel for adults. So far, publication rights have been sold in 32 countries and received several prizes, including the prestigious Bokhandlerprisen (Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize). It was the best-selling book in any genre in Germany in 2017. Her second novel “Blue”, was published in October 2017 and is so far sold to 15 territories.
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Best-selling Norwegian Author Maja Lunde, written by Tor Kjolberg