‘A strange and wonderful book, plausible as kitchens, but shapely as a folktale, and with the same disturbing resonance.’ – Margaret Atwood
Lou is a shy and diligent librarian at the local Heritage Institute. She works monotonous and dusty hours long into the night but she has found nothing – and no one – to go home to. She has resigned herself to passionless sex on her desk with the Director of the Institute.
When she is summoned to a remote island to inventory the estate of Colonel Cary, she takes it as an opportunity to get out of the city, hoping for an industrious summer of cataloguing.
Colonel Cary left many possessions behind, but she didn’t expect the bear. She soon begins to anticipate the bear’s needs for food and company. But as summer blossoms across the island and Lou shakes off the city, she realises the bear might satisfy some needs of her own.
‘The best Canadian novel of all time.’ – The National Post
‘Pure magic… an alchemic transformation from fact into folk tale and the rich areas of the human psyche, a metamorphosis so subtle that its sexual shock is completely acceptable to us.’ – New York Times
‘The most controversial novel ever written in Canada.’ – Canadian Encyclopedia
‘Fascinating and profound, this novel speaks of a woman’s strange (some would say bizarre) and moving journey toward inner freedom and strength, and ultimately toward a sense of communion with all living creatures.’ – Margaret Laurence