A Cemetery for Bees

A book by Alina Dumitrescu, translated by Katia Grubisic.

Alina Dumitrescu, translated by Katia Grubisic

This autobiographical novel traces a woman's journey from her youth in Socialist Eastern Europe to her transplanted life in Montreal, Canada. She is a precocious, thoughtful child, whose early life in Romania is marked by the scarcities of the time and the political games needed to survive, but she is not unhappy. Placed around her family's house are hives—the bees discourage the secret police from visiting too often—and the bees provide both a childish diversion and an overarching metaphor for departure and home.

An elegant, candid book, A Cemetery for Bees is an elegy for childhood, a declaration of francophile love, and a complicated look at who we are, who we were, and where we might find ourselves. (From Linda Leith Publishing)

A Cemetery for Bees is on the shortlist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for translation. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

Alina Dumitrescu is a writer from Romania, who now lives in Montreal. She has written both poetry and fiction in French. Her 2016 book, Le cimetière des abeilles, won the Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts de Montréal Diversity Prize.

Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor and translator. Her translation of Brothers by David Clerson was a finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now