2017 Big Town Read – The Bees by Laline Paull

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Author Laline Paull

Back by popular demand, Marlborough LitFest in partnership with The Reading Agency have announced their 2017 Big Town Read author as Laline Paull and her debut novel, The Bees, for the 28 September-1 October Festival. Marlborough LitFest aims to bring the best of writing, both new and established, to Marlborough.

Following in the successful footsteps of previous LitFest Big Town Read authors Sathnam Sanghera, Jackie Kay, Rachel Joyce and Elizabeth Buchan, Marlborough LitFest and The Reading Agency with the support of local libraries are encouraging local book groups and individuals to read Laline’s book in advance of her appearance at the LitFest so that the audience can discuss it in a Q&A session with the author. Laline will appear at the LitFest on Sunday 1 October at 4.30pm in the Town Hall.

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015, playwright Laline’s debut novel is set entirely within a beehive, outlining the life of Flora 717 – a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues. Flora starts to challenge the social order of the hive and ends up changing her destiny and her world. The Times calls it an “unusual and cunningly imagined thriller… strangely thought-provoking”.

Kay Newman from the LitFest said: “I am thrilled that Laline Paull’s book The Bees is this year’s Big Town Read. It is a really fascinating book – a classic ‘word of mouth’ novel that I know will have wide appeal.”

Free copies of the novel will be available from Marlborough Library during the summer; in previous years, readers have returned their copies to the Library for others to read after them.