Novels

BLUE (2017)

David is French and lives in 2041 in a drought-and war-ridden Southern Europe with his little daughter Lou. They are fleeing their home town, and are desperately seeking Davids wife Anna and the baby August, whom they have been seperated from. 70-year old Signe has grown up in a small village in Western Norway. In 2017 she sets out on a hazardous voyage, trying to cross an ocean all by herself in a sailboat. A love story starts to surface, and we learn why and how she lost the love of her life.
The present and the future stories connect when Signe’s sailboat is found in a dried out French garden, miles from any shore in 2041, by David and Lou. The 2041-scenario echoes the desperate human conditions in Taos story in The History of Bees, but plays out half a century earlier, and in Europe, where water is the main source of conflict and despair. Blue is the second book in the planned Climate Quartet.

To be launched autumn 2017

About The Climate Quartet:

 

Working on my second novel Blue, which will be published in Norwegian in October this year, it gradually became obvious to me I wasn’t done telling the story I set out to tell in The History of Bees, and that the lives of Tao, William and George are also part of something larger. A story that, when it is completed, will fill the four volumes I call The Climate Quartet.
I realized I was nowhere near done writing about man and nature, neither had I stopped imagining a future where the consequences of the way we treat our wonderful earth has become ever more grave than what we see today. And from these thoughts, the idea of writing four, loosely connected books evolved, each one a stand-alone novel emphasizing specific, clima related themes: Insects, water, animals, and finally seeds and all things that grow.

Each novel has parallel storylines that play out both in our time and somewhere in our not-too-distant future, in addition to gazing back at our past. All four explore humans in nature and the consequences of the choices we make, not only with regards to nature and the climate, but also the people around us. Because it is through the exploration of our closest boundaries – within families, between lovers, between parents and children – one best sees the reflections of the larger picture.

Maja Lunde
18.05.2017

THE HISTORY OF BEES (2015)

No. 1 on the German bestseller list.

• Sold to 20 territories.
Winner of the Norwegian Bookseller’s prize

“Quite simply the most visionary Norwegian novel I have read since the first instalment of Knausgård’s ‘My Struggle’.” Expressen, Sweden

 

Maja Lunde the history of beesWilliam is a melancholy biologist and seed dealer in England in 1852. He sets out to build an entirely new kind of beehive that he hopes will provide both him and his children with honor and fame. George is a beekeeper in the US in 2007 who is fighting an uphill battle, but he hopes that his son can be the farm’s salvation. Tao works with hand-pollination in a China of the future where bees have disappeared. More than anything else, she wants her son to get an education and have a life better than her own.
Three stories are woven together in a book about parents and children, human vulnerability, and a very special beehive. The novel won Bokhandlerprisen (Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize) in 2015 and the Fabelprisen (Fabel Prize) in 2015.

The History of Bees is the first book in a planned quartet about climate, man and nature.

From the reviews:

Foto: De norske bokklubbene

“Read, read, while the bees can still buzz around your head. Get wise, get rich, get scared…”
Liselotte Weimer, Weekendavisen
“… a craftsman’s feat…” Jon Helt Haarder, Jyllands-Posten
” … simply the most visionary Norwegian novel I’ve read since the first part of Knausgårds “My struggle”.” Ulrika Kärnborg, Expressen
“… a great work of art about the key to human survivor…”
Fredrik Sjöberg, Svenska Dagbladet
“… beautiful and touching…” Eva Hilde Murvold, Trønderavisa
“… intensely exciting.” Vilde Imeland, Færelandsvennen
“… strikingly beautiful…” Jan Askelund, Stavanger Aftenblad
“… touches and engages…” Arne Hugo Støland, VG
“Magnificent story…” Marie L. Kleve, Dagbladet

More praise for The History of Bees:

“I would describe “The History of Bees” as a cross between “The Hunger Games” and Margaret Atwood’s brilliant “MaddAddam” trilogy. It circles around the possibility of a global environmental catastrophe, but is replete with sensitive renderings of the relations between parents and children … There is an oscillation between the deeply personal dynamic of family relationships and the science fiction-like superstructure, which I really liked. Character depictions are nuanced and scenes are brought into focus with a cinematic sharpness … “The History of Bees” is quite simply the most visionary Norwegian novel I have read since the first instalment of Knausgård’s ‘My Struggle’.”
Expressen, Denmark

“Those who think Maja Lunde’s novel “The History of Bees” is about beekeeping and looming catastrophes of an ecological nature should be informed at once that this is only how it appears on the surface. What drives this story is weightier than this, and more powerful. Although there are plenty of bees buzzing about in this book, the humming undertone which makes it a great novel derives from another source, closer to that of life itself … Three voices in a compelling conversation, three threads woven together into an epic tale which does not primarily revolve around the disturbance of nature, but around profound human passions. Maja Lunde has an uncommonly clear view of the half-articulated games which play out between human beings, especially within the four walls of the family. She knows a lot about parents who love their children more than each other, and the burden of the three-sided dramas which often follow… “The History of Bees” is complex and extraordinarily well-written, and in addition as exciting as a psychological thriller.”
Svenska Dagbladet

“Magnificent tale of the importance of bees and the individual.”
Marie L. Kleve, Dagbladet

“As the story develops, this book subtly transformes from The History of Bees to Our History.” Janneken Øverland, Klassekampen
“A first-time novelist who is brave enough to spread out a great, epic canvas and in addition brings up a provocative and current topic, is not something you see every day.”
Erika Fatland, Aftenposten