Christy Lefteri

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Christy Lefteri

Christy Lefteri’s The Beekeeper of Aleppo International bestseller over one million copies sold worldwide.

In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope


A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB CHOICE 2020
A BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB CHOICE 2019
THE READING AGENCY'S PICK FOR NATIONAL READING GROUP DAY


WINNER OF THE 2020 ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE USA


RUNNER UP FOR THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE USA


THIRD BIGGEST SELLING PAPERBACK IN THE UK  OF 2020


WINNER OF NIELSEN BESTSELLER GOLD AWARD FOR UK SALES OF OVER 500,000


Christy Lefteri was born in London in 1980 to Greek Cypriot parents who moved to London in 1974 during the Turkish invasion. She completed a degree in English and a Masters in creative writing at Brunel University. She taught English to foreign students and then became a secondary school teacher before leaving to pursue a PhD and to write. She works as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University, London.


Her first novel A Watermelon, A Fish And A Bible was published by Quercus in April 2009 and was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Edinburgh First Book Award.


She has also studied Psychoanalysis and worked in the NHS as a psychotherapist with trauma patients, and as a result has been researching the links between creativity, displacement and trauma.


The Beekeeper of Aleppo, sold in auction, to Kate Parkin at Bonnier Zaffre was published in May 2019 to wide critical acclaim. It was pre-empted in the US by Andra Miller at Ballentine Random House. It tells the story of a family fleeing the war in Syria and was inspired by Christy’s volunteer work in Athens where she met refugees from all over the world and heard their stories. It immediately became a Sunday Times Bestseller- and was the third biggest paperback bestseller of 2020 in Fiction. It went on to win The Aspen Words Literary Prize an annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture. On 17th March 2021 it was awarded a Nielsen Bestseller Gold Award for UK sales of over 500,000


It has been sold into forty territories.


Her new novel Songbirds inspired by the real-life disappearance of domestic workers in Cyprus, is published by Manilla Press (Bonnier Books) in the UK on the 8th July 2021 and by Ballantine Randomhouse in the US on July 31st.



Praise for The Beekeeper of Aleppo


“With the first sentence, we enter a world too visible for the protagonists who can’t, nevertheless, turn away. The Beekeeper of Aleppo demands that we contemplate the way we humans process the horror around us, the senseless violence, the loss of what we hold dearest”

Esmeralda Santiago, Aspen Words Literary Prize head judge


“This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes”

Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz


“The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ is a story of loss, love, resilience and hope. In the same school as the Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Kite Runner, it’s impossible not to be moved by Lefteri’s plea for humanity and perhaps inspired too”

The Observer/ Guardian


Christy Lefteri has crafted a beautiful novel, intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant. I'm recommending this book to everyone I care about. So, I'm recommending this book to you’

Benjamin Zephaniah


“[Christy] Lefteri sensitively charts what it’s like when war comes home, alert to the subtle effects of trauma and grief. Nuri and Afra are not broadly sketched as victims, but rather suffer in different and complex ways from PTSD. . . . By creating characters with such rich, complex inner lives, Lefteri shows that in order to stretch compassion to millions of people, it helps to begin with one.”

Time


“So if you like sweeping, well-told story of social value that pushes some obvious emotional buttons then this is for you”

The Metro


“The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a relevant, timely book, but impresses most as a compassionate and truthful character study. It’s a remarkable account of the dislocation endured by displaced persons across the world, an important and necessary novel that humanises the dispossessed who are all too often demonised”

Herald Scotland


“Beekeeper Nuri and his wife, Afra, are devastated by the Syrian civil war. After violence claims their child and Afra’s eyesight, the couple is forced to flee Aleppo and make the fraught journey to Britain—and an uncertain future.”

USA Today (5 Books Not to Miss)


“A haunting and resonant story of Syrian war refugees undertaking a treacherous journey . . . Readers will find this deeply affecting for both its psychological intensity and emotional acuity.”

Publishers Weekly


“A redemptive tale of hope in the midst of shocking adversity”

Irish Independent


A book of darkness and light, of horrors and hope, and of the true power of the human spirit”

Culturefly


“Heartbreaking at times, this story of fear, loss and survival gives an emotionally charged insight into what life is like for refugees facing the depravity of predators and needing the compassion of strangers”

Candis Magazine


“She has created a convincing and harrowing novel about the will to survive- and the enduring power of love”

Sunday Mirror


“In The Beekeeper she has created an utterly convincing and harrowing novel about the will to survive and the enduring power of love”

Sunday People


“This book is haunting, heart breaking, eye opening, thought provoking and brilliant”

Lipsquid Book Blog


“I have not read anything this haunting and moving since The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini. This book will stay with me for a long time”

Brown Flopsy Blogspot


“This is a beautiful story of hope, an important tale of devastation, and a cry for compassion and action”

Rebecca's Rave Reviews


“Honestly, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is stunning because it has everything I wanted and more in it”

Romantics, Rebels and Reviews


“In recounting the daily brutality as well as the glimmers of beauty, this novel humanizes the terrifying refugee stories we read about in the news. Lefteri explores questions of trust and portrays what trauma and loss can do to individuals and their relationships. . . . A beautiful rumination on seeing what is right in front of us—both the negative and the positive”

The Boston Globe (Pick of the Week)


“Great for book club . . . a powerful story about the refugee experience, hope, and love”

Real Simple

“Nuri's story rings with authenticity, from the vast, impersonal cruelties of war to the tiny kindnesses that help people survive it. . . . A well-crafted structure and a troubled but engaging narrator power this moving story of Syrian refugees”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In fluid, forthright language, Lefteri brings us humbly closer to the refugee experience as beekeeper Nuri and his wife, an artist named Afra who has gone blind form the horrors she’s witnessed, escape Aleppo and travel dangerously to Great Britain. . . . There’s no overloading the deck with drama; this story tells itself, absorbingly and heartrendingly”

Library Journal



Praise for Songbirds:


“I've never read anything quite like Songbirds - a beautifully crafted novel that sits at the intersection of race and class”

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of Small Great Things


“Will break your heart and open your eyes”

Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz


I loved this tender, moving story . . . about the powerful chord that binds mothers to daughters, about those we fail to see and protect. The humanity in this book is compelling, tinged with sadness, delicately delivered with urgency. I finished this book and could not stop thinking about Nisha. It is stunning and beautiful. . . . A magnificent achievement.”

Abi Daré, author of The Girl with the Louding Voice

“Like the vulnerable songbirds trapped in mist nets, Christy Lefteri’s characters—women who leave foreign lands to work abroad and send money back home—broke my heart and kept me turning the pages of her gorgeous novel well into the night.”

Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

“This thought-provoking novel of love, loss, and redemption is thoroughly sublime.”

Caroline Montague, author of An Italian Affair

“Lefteri is an astonishing weaver of stories that speak to the world with humor and compassion. She is imaginatively daring as she is socially responsible in a style that sustains a compelling narrative from start to end and that kept me on the edge.”

Daljit Nagra, author of British Museum


“..deftly explores themes of freedom, motherhood, community and identity… while the migrant community are sensitively given a voice and the injustices they face uncovered. A moving and important read”

The Independent


“Christy Lefteri’s timely second novel packs the same Trojan horse punch as her bestselling The Beekeeper of Aleppo”

Noon Bookclub


“A poignant story of what it means to migrate in search of freedom”

Cosmopolitan


“(a) moving new novel exploring the intersection of class and race. And the horrific realities of the migrant experience”

The Glossary London


“Remarkable and memorable”

Woman&Home


Rights Sold

The Beekeeper of Aleppo: Bonnier Zaffre (UK),  Penguin Random House (USA), Morava Publishing House  (Albania), Alkhan For Translation & Publishing (Arabic For Arab World), Bonnier Zaffre (Australia), Qanun Publishing House (Azerbaijani), Buybook (Bosnia) Autêntica Editora Ltda (Brazil) Izdatelsvto Riva EOOD, 53B (Bulgaria),  Penguin Random House (Canada),  Columna Edicions, Llibres I Comunicació, Sau (Catalan),  China South Booky Culture Media Co.,Ltd(China Simplified), Stilus knjiga d.o.o (Croatia) Nakladatelství Zed, (Czech) AS Postimees Grupp (Denmark), Morava Publishing House (Estonia),  Koolehposhti Book Publishing CO (Farsi), Schildts&Söderströms, Kustantamo S &S (Finland), Editions Du Seuil (France), Penguin Random House (Germany), Patakis Publishers (Greece),  Kokboekencentrum (Holland),  Alexandra Könyvesház Kft (Hungary), Bonnier Zaffre (Ireland), Mondadori Libri Spa (Italy), Balto Leidybos Namai (Lithuania),TRI Publishing Centre (Macedonia), Gyldendal Norsk Forlag (Norway),  Wydawnictwo Literackie  (Poland),  Edições ASA II, S.A. (Portugal), Grup Media Litera S.R.L(Romania),  Azbooka-Atticus Publishing Group (Russia),  Vulkan Izavastvo (Serbia), Vydavatelstvo Tatran(Slovakia),  Založba Učila International D.O.O.(Slovenia),  Ediciones Maeva (Spain),  Subhavi Publishers (Sri Lanka),  Bokförlaget Nona (Sweden),  Pena Kitap Yayinlari (Turkey),Huy Hoang (Vietnam)


Songbirds: Bonnier Zaffre (UK),  Penguin Random House (USA), Autêntica Editora Ltda (Brazil )Penguin Random House (Canada) Nakladatelství Zed, S.R.O.,(Czech Republic)

Jentas A/S (Denmark), Editions Du Seuil (France) Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe Gmbh (Germany) Psichogios Publications S.A (Greece), Kokboekencentrum (Holland), Bonnier Zaffre (Ireland), Mondadori Libri Spa (Italy), Balto Leidybos Namai (Lithuania), Gyldendal Norsk Forlag (Norway), Grup Media Litera S.R.L (Romania), Vydavateľstvo Tatran (Slovak), Založba Učila International (Slovenia), Bokförlaget Nona (Sweden)