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Elizabeth Bryer

Elizabeth Bryer is a writer and translator whose debut novel From Here On, Monsters was published in 2019. Other novels she has translated from Spanish include Aleksandra Lun’s The Palimpsests and Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s Blood of the Dawn.


Napoleon’s Beekeeper

José Luis de Juan

128 pages
Paperback, 19.7 x 13 cm
Published February 2020
ISBN 9781925818239

On the island of Elba, Andrea Pasolini awaits the arrival of the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte. Pasolini is a half-hearted beekeeper whose first love is reading – a secret, illicit activity he undertakes in his cellar at night. A surprising and obsessive relationship develops between the two men, a slow-building mystery around an anticipated meeting (and a meeting of minds) that is constantly deferred. Napoleon’s Beekeeper is meticulously constructed from an array of sources that arise organically from the narrative. Throughout, there is the through-line of bees, their social organisation, and one man’s realisation that they inspired Napoleon and were his secret weapon, as well as an exploration of what it means for one’s life and character to be shaped by life on an island.