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The Bear

Andrew Krivak



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01 March 2020
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Fantasy; Questing & Adventure; Dystopia
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 of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.
By:   Andrew Krivak
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 191mm,  Width: 127mm, 
ISBN:   9781942658702
ISBN 10:   1942658702
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   01 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Andrew Krivak is the author of three novels: The Bear (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in February 2020); The Signal Flame, a Chautauqua Prize finalist; and The Sojourn, a National Book Award finalist and winner of both the Chautauqua Prize and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He is also the author of A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life, a memoir about his eight years in the Jesuit Order, and editor of The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 1902-1912, which received the Louis L. Martz Prize. Krivak lives with his wife and three children in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

Reviews for The Bear

Praise for The Bear LibraryReads Pick! BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Books of the Year selection Library Journal Editors' Picks selection Buzz Books by Publishers Lunch selection Lyrical. . . . Gorgeous. . . . Krivak's serene and contemplative novel invites us to consider a vision of time as circular, of existence as grand and eternal beyond the grasp of individuals-and of a world able to outlive human destructiveness. -Washington Post [A] tender apocalyptic fable . . . endowed with such fullness of meaning that you have to assign this short, touching book its own category: the post-apocalypse utopia - Wall Street Journal Beautiful. . . . A powerful allegory about the struggles and graces of life. -America Magazine Stellar. . . . The powerful impact of this slim, exquisite novel reveal[s] the wisdom of the natural world. -WOSU All Things Considered [A] thoughtful, meditative exploration of humanity's place in the world. -WBUR The ARTery With artistry and grace . . . Krivak delivers a transcendent journey into a world where all living things-humans, animals, trees-coexist in magical balance, forever telling each other's unique stories. This beautiful and elegant novel is a gem. -Publishers Weekly (starred review) A moving post-apocalyptic fable for grown-ups. . . . Ursula K. Le Guin would approve. -Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Engagingly different. . . . Unfolds in graceful, luminous prose. -Library Journal (starred review) [Krivak's] sentences are polished stones of wonder. . . . The elegiac tone reflects what is lost and what will be lost, an enchantment as if Wendell Berry had reimagined Cormac McCarthy's The Road. -Booklist A lovely, unforgettable experience. -Foreword Reviews Uplifting and beautiful, Krivak has written a gem of a fable; a portrait of survival that comes full circle. -Paperback Paris In spare and lovely prose, Andrew Krivak folds the deep past and the far future into a remarkable fable about our inheritance as humanity makes a harmonic return to the spirit and animal worlds. This book follows you, like a river under ice. -Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master's Son and Fortune Smiles A tight yet expansive novel in prose so vivid you forget these are words and not the cedar, trout, and stones of a post-Anthropocene Earth. Through the middle of The Bear walks an unnamed girl whose determination to go on living will fill you with awe. -Salvatore Scibona, author of The End and The Volunteer Reading The Bear will bring you back to the wonder-filled stories of childhood, the sort that linger, that alter our understanding of the world, that shape who we become. Such is the simple and profound power of Krivak's unexpectedly hopeful novel. Crafted with as much care and mastery as the finest oaken bow, this is a book that manages to be both timeless and urgent, clear-eyed and tender-hearted, archetypal and unconventional: a bedtime tale told by a prophet. A wonder in itself. -Josh Weil, author of The New Valley and The Age of Perpetual Light What Booksellers Are Saying About The Bear This is as close to a perfect novel as I've read. . . . Krivak is working with the care and atmosphere of Denis Johnson's Train Dreams and the dire sentimentality of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, but is tuned to a higher and more eternal frequency. I will treasure The Bear, and am so glad it exists to counterbalance these futile, furious times. -Robert Martin, Independent Booksellers Consortium Executive Director The Bear is a beautiful throwback to folk tales and fairy tales, while at the same time paying tribute to the dystopian books of today. -Miranda Atkins, A Little Bookish Beautifully written. . . . [The Bear] is a fable that will move into your heart as well as your mind, and stay there forever. -Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore I could not put down The Bear. Although an easy read, the masterful storytelling of Andrew Krivak challenges readers with ideas of survival and adventure amidst loss. . . . A simply beautiful read. -Heidi Carter, Bogan Books A sparsely told story that leaves you questioning whether we are more than just our memories. -Sydne Conant, A Room of One's Own What a balm to read a book so lovely that moves at a measured pace in this fast-paced age. . . . This is a book that takes the reader to heart: a story to be savored, a grace to be received. -Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books Krivak's nature writing is simply divine. This lyrical fable has a few white-knuckled moments, but it's the story's tender spirituality that kept me up reading through the night. -Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe Tender and lyrical, beautifully descriptive and with just enough suspense to temper the story, The Bear is divine. -Lee Virden Geurkink, Monkey and Dog Books Ancient in its rhythm and content, Andrew Krivak's The Bear reads as a folktale from an entirely possible, fast-approaching future. The lives that may very well be lived by the last of us are lyrically and lovingly articulated across these pages. -Jack Hawthorn, Raven Book Store A story anyone can connect with. -Maggie Henriksen, Carmichael's Bookstore The Bear is a beautifully written modern fable. . . . It feels both timeless and very much of our time, as it plays on anxieties about climate change and the end of human civilization. -Kathleen Keenan, A Novel Spot Bookshop Both timeless and of the moment, this moving, elegant fable for adults is the perfect antidote to our fast-paced, anxious lives. . . . A transcendent, luminous book that will stay with you. -Shane Khosropour, Unabridged Bookstore A modern day fable with lessons on how to reconnect with the natural world. . . . Precise and beautiful. -Robert Lingle, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore Beautiful, poignant and magical. . . . I loved and savored every single word. -Seth Marko, Book Catapult Read The Bear to be transformed. -Laura Mills, Brazos Bookstore This book is majestic! A beautiful and poignant tribute to nature and the resiliency of the spirit. -Rachel Oriatti, Anderson's Bookshop Flora and fauna further a companionless young woman's education in survival in The Bear. I fought tears throughout the girl's journey: her story is THAT BEAUTIFUL!. -Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books This was such an interesting book. Not very long, but the way the prose felt slow and meaningful pulled me in and made me slow down to read it. . . . When I finished, I felt like I'd had an experience, not just read a book. -Izzy Stringham, Bookbinders Basalt This is humanity at its purest form-a primal love story to our place among the wild things. Stark and beautiful. -Robin Templin, Watermark Books & Cafe Krivak's little gem of a book has some of the lushest, loveliest nature writing you'll ever read, but in addition to that, it has the timeless feel of a fable. . . . I never knew that a tale about humanity's end days could be so quietly powerful, and leave me with a sense of peace and optimism. -Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks A stunningly quiet, simple, and perfect book. -Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company This timely, emotional fable about the dual powers of nature and human endurance is profound in its simplicity. Like all the best fables, the wisdom of Krivak's tale lingered long after we finished it. -Apple Books Widely relatable and deeply moving. -Audible What Librarians Are Saying About The Bear A young girl and her father live alone in a mountain forest that fronts a lake in a devastated world. She learns from him how to live off the land, hunting for food, and finding shelter. The Bear is the moving story of a journey they make together to the ocean, and the bear who helps her find her way back home. For fans of The Dogs Stars (Heller) and The Road (McCarthy). -LibraryReads citation, Sandy Jones Boyd, Mountain Regional Public Library Immerses the reader in nature and explores man's relationship with the surrounding life. -Kari Bingham-Gutierrez, Olathe Public Library Krivak definitely has a gift for unique stories and I know my patrons will really enjoy his work. -Meagan Brown, Cromaine District Library Very enjoyable. -Kayla Campbell, Plum City Public Library Heartbreaking. . . . It has been nearly two months since I finished The Bear and I'm still ruminating on its melancholy yet somehow hopeful ode to the beauty the natural world has to offer. -Christopher Clark, Eisenhower Public Library Unique, remarkable, and beautiful. -Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library Gorgeous prose and luscious descriptions of the natural world. Krivak reminds us of our own frailty and the fierce bond between human and animal. -Lillian Dabney, Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum Refreshing. . . . A simple story written with an unflinching but compassionate voice, Krivak's tale should be thoughtfully savored while it slowly winds its way into your moral conscience. -Kyle Evans, Springfield-Greene County Library Lovers of language take note: the act of reading this book is truly an experience. -Karissa Fast, St. Catharines Public Library This beautiful book about survival and community moved me deeply. -Krista Feick, Columbus Metropolitan Library Add me to those who loved The Bear by Andrew Krivak. This is one of those books that seems simplistic at first and then completely draws you in to its world. -Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library Stunning. . . . Krivak gives us a startling view of the future; of being alone and trying to understand a world that no longer exists. -Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System This adult fable touches on themes of family, the environment, the struggle for survival, and the need for harmony with nature. I enjoyed meeting the Bear, the Puma, and the fierce unnamed female narrator who was stronger than I could ever imagine. This one is compelling. -Kelly Moore, Carrollton Public Library This was a book that really makes you think about the future and the choices that we as humans are making today. -Courtney Reynolds, John Tomay Memorial Library I ended up reading this in one sitting because I enjoyed it so much. . . . The words were simple and honest, but the picture they painted was delightful. -Lauren Rhodes, St. Louis County Library Hauntingly beautiful, written in a poetic style, I highly recommend The Bear. -Judy Sebastian, Eastham Public Library and Friends of the Eastham Library A wondrous take on love, loss and the natural world. -Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library This book combines the elegiac, hauntingly spare prose of Cormac McCarthy's The Road with the vivid nature writing of Jack London, plus a dash of magical realism. . . . The writing is beautifully evocative, through each season and habitat. -Maree Watkins, Fairfax County Public Library More Praise for Andrew Krivak Some writers are good at drawing a literary curtain over reality, and then there are writers who raise the veil and lead us to see for the first time. Krivak belongs to the latter. -National Book Award judges' citation [Krivak's] sentences accrue and swell and ultimately break over a reader like water: they are that supple and bracing and shining. -Leah Hager Cohen Incandescent. -Marlon James A writer of rare and powerful elegance. -Mary Doria Russell Destined for great things. -Richard Russo [A] singular talent. -Jesmyn Ward An extraordinarily elegant writer, with a deep awareness of the natural world. -New York Times Book Review [Krivak] bring[s] out the vast compassion, humanity and love of his rich, fully developed characters. -Star Tribune Krivak's story and characters are mythic. -Booklist (starred review) Krivak has his own voice, given to lyrical observations on the nature of human existence. -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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