Individual Traumas in Christy Lefteri’s The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Aurelija Daukšaitė-Kolpakovienė


Christy Lefteri was born in 1980 in London. Years later, her volunteering experience in a UNICEF-supported refugee centre in Greece during the European migrant crisis, which started around 2014 and has been continuing since then, became the basis for The Beekeeper of Aleppo (2018; the edition of 2019 is used here). In the novel, Lefteri reflects on migrant experience through fictitious characters and their personal traumas. Thus, this article aims to discuss how the author represents her characters’ traumatic experiences. These traumas start before their moving away from the city of Aleppo (Syria), which suffers from a crisis caused by a civil war, and continue haunting them throughout their journey to Turkey, the Greek islands, Greece, and the UK and result in an identity and relationship crisis. In addition, the migration process itself is not smooth and adds more weight to their earlier experienced traumas. Nuri and his wife Afra, the main characters of the novel, are traumatised mostly psychologically, but their traumas manifest themselves physically. Even though these characters do create coping mechanisms, they never verbalise their traumas until they reach their destination, which is the UK, and thus suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder for quite some time. Only when Nuri and his wife start speaking about their experiences and symptoms, the process of overcoming their traumas starts. The analysis of the novel is carried out within the framework of the Literary Trauma Theory. Some of the key issues of the theory, which are relevant to the discussion, include inability to speak about traumatic experience, post-traumatic symptoms, and belatedly experienced trauma.


Christy Lefteri; body; migration; PTSD symptoms; The Beekeeper of Aleppo; traumatic experience

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Data publikacji: 2022-12-28 14:59:58
Data złożenia artykułu: 2021-12-22 07:56:54


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