Of Strangers and Bees by Hamid Ismailov

Of Strangers and Bees

Hamid Ismailov

The three-stranded narrative is told from the perspective of three different characters: an exiled Uzbek writer, an ancient magical dervish, and a honey bee. I found the complexity of the structure challenging at times, as the connection between the separate stories wasn't immediately obvious. Yet as the tales began to overlap, I willingly accompanied the Uzbek writer on his quest for answers; as eager to discover the truth as he.


Now I understand something: all my searching - whether for the right room, or Avicenna, or the lost Stranger among the pages of old manuscripts or in countries developed and developing, whether his name was Vissens or Sheikhov, or whether they were bees, drinking in the secrets of the eternal soul along with their nectar - in truth, it had all been a search for myself, for how I belonged to something more important than the small, idle details of everyday events in this hospitable world. We find ourselves only when we lose ourselves in the Other. 

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