Written by Andrew Krivak | Paperback
A gorgeous fable of Earth's last two human inhabitants, and a girl's journey home.
In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last two left. But when the girl suddenly finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness, which offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.
ACCLAIMED, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Marlon James has described Krivak's work as "incandescent," Jesmyn Ward lauds his "singular talent," and Mary Doria Russell calls him "a writer of rare and powerful elegance." Booksellers, who selected his first novel, The Sojourn, for the Indie Next List and Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, agreed and the novel went on to become a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Chautauqua Prize. Now Krivak returns to Bellevue Literary Press with a second novel filled with grace notes and epiphanic moments about coming of age during dark times--one that underscores the New York Times praise for Krivak as an author with a "deep awareness of the natural world" and Richard Russo's prediction that Krivak is "destined for great things."
UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE READ BEFORE: A short list of authors Andrew Krivak has been compared to by critics includes Cormac McCarthy, Kent Haruf, Isaac Babel, Erich Maria Remarque, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Heller, and William Faulkner, but in every instance these comparisons are followed up by the acknowledgement that Krivak has found a voice all his own. While The Bear contains all the emotional power of the best dystopian fiction, including Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it is not set in a sinister, post-apocalyptic world. Instead, Krivak embraces and celebrates the beauty of the natural world, spinning a deeply moving, spiritually astute myth that represents a new direction for storytelling and the way we imagine our future.
AN ENDURING BOOK FOR READERS OF ALL BACKGROUNDS: In the guise of a simply told, lyric fable where nature itself emerges as a character, The Bear elegantly reveals universal truths about the environment and humanity's place within it. It is a novel for anyone who has struggled to become self-reliant; for any parent wondering if they did the right thing bringing children into this world; for anyone who ever loved the wilderness and its creatures; for anyone who aches at the thought of the end of the world and longs for the hope of something better; for anyone seeking an adult title with the moral wisdom they found in the books they loved as children. As Krivak writes, "We don't know what the kiln of our becoming will be, but we should trust that if we've lived authentic lives we will endure." And surely, this extraordinarily beautiful novel will also endure.
**Buddy's Staff Pick**
This book surprised me and enduped up being something different than I assumed. It is an allegorical tale of a young girl and her father who live in a remote northern forest and are completely self-sufficient. Their bond as well as struggles with nature becomes a central theme and is animistic. Reading it while living on a Chippewa Ojibway reservation, and riding my bike through back roads and forests, made the story more personal and appealing. I see bears on rare occasions, deer, eages daily, and it was 45 degrees the last two nights, and winter is long and hard here . . . also central themes in the novel. It is a great escape, but odd and weird like it is everywhere this summer (2020) as we normally see more family and friends... a book about our alternate universe.
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