Memoirs of a Polar Bear
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Memoirs of a Polar Bear

3.45 (551 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

The Memoirs of a Polar Bear has in spades what Rivka Galchen hailed in the New Yorker as "Yoko Tawada's magnificent strangeness"--Tawada is an author like no other. Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son--the last of their line--is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away... Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and "the intimacy of being alone with my pen."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 137 x 203 x 20mm | 270g
  • New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 081122578X
  • 9780811225786
  • 137,985

Review quote

This novel is ''doubly translated'' in the sense that Yoko Tawada first wrote it in Japanese and then translated it herself into German, from whence it was re-crafted into English. It even boasts an additional layer of translating, as it were, since the first part of the book is narrated by a Russian-speaking bear. The story itself follows three generations of polar bears across the world in a powerful tale of both family and isolation.--Lucas Iberico Lozadashow more

Rating details

551 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 16% (89)
4 32% (176)
3 36% (200)
2 13% (69)
1 3% (17)
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