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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wednesday, March 27 Telling the Bees

Wednesday night at 8 PM on Bibliocracy Radio, KPFK 90.7 FM:  Peggy Hesketh: Telling the Bees.  Local author, teacher and journalist Peggy Hesketh’s debut novel explores those sometimes forgotten or overlooked places in Orange County, California which survive, even thrive simultaneously in both reality and in memory:  a farmhouse or ranch or bungalow at a dead end, a backyard, a hidden orange grove just the other side of a tall hedgerow, obscured by a stand of eucalyptus or a brick wall.  In Telling the Bees, an old man’s success at living in this vibrant, anachronistic world is complicated, dramatically, tragically, by his failure to acknowledge, to adapt, to recalibrate his imagination, to accommodate change around him.  He is a deeply moral and self-disciplined yet necessarily hypocritical, even delusional old dude for whom universal and ancient truths remain compelling, but who cannot accommodate the changing neighborhood, neighbors and landscape.  He is a beekeeper, plugged into the ages-old science and culture of that noble calling, but sometimes willful, ungenerous, unimaginative and lonely --- seeming to have forfeited other joys for his duty to the bees and to the past.  In her invention of the old beekeeper Mr. Albert Honig – yes, “honey” in German – Peggy Hesketh, a native herself of Orange County, a former newspaper reporter on the OC beat, has created a stubborn and yet sympathetic character whose life story is told in turns melancholy, exhilarating, sociological, with a murder mystery and a love story and, throughout, a deep appreciation for the life stories we construct – for ourselves and for others.  Peggy Hesketh’s short stories have appeared widely.  For more, see my recent OC Bookly review at and Peggy Hesketh’s own website:  Thanks for listening.  This program is available as a free download from the KPFK station archives.

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