LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION, 2023
‘Laline Paull succeeds splendidly in rising to the most important literary challenge of our time – restoring voice and agency to other-than-human beings’ Amitav Ghosh
‘A pacy, provocative tale of survival in a fast-changing marine landscape’ Daily Mail
Bestselling author Laline Paull returns with an immersive and transformative new novel of an ocean world – its extraordinary creatures, mysteries, and mythologies – that is increasingly haunted by the cruelty and ignorance of the human race.
Ea has always felt like an outsider. She suffers from a type of deafness that means she cannot master the spinning rituals that unite her pod of spinner dolphins. When tragedy strikes her family and Ea feels she is partly to blame, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave.
As Ea ventures into the vast, she discovers dangers everywhere, from lurking predators to strange objects floating in the water. But just as she is coming to terms with her solitude, a chance encounter with a group of arrogant bottlenoses will irrevocably alter the course of her life.
In her terrifying, propulsive novel, Laline Paull explores the true meaning of family, belonging, sacrifice – the harmony and tragedy of the pod – within an ocean that is no longer the sanctuary it once was, and which reflects a world all too recognisable to our own.
PRAISE FOR THE BEES
‘Beautifully written and unusual . . . A brave and original story that highlights our modern environmental crimes, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the intricacies of bee world’ Sunday Times
‘One wild ride. A sensual, visceral mini-epic about timeless rituals and modern environmental disaster. Paull’s heart-pounding novel wrenches us into a new world’ Emma Donoghue
‘[A] gripping Cinderella/Arthurian tale with lush Keatsian adjectives’ Margaret Atwood
‘An extraordinary feat of imagination’ Madeline Miller
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