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Short Synopsis
Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers—who happen to be polar bears.

Full Synopsis
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."

"An absorbing work from a fascinating mind." ---Kirkus Starred Review

“Tawada’s stories agitate the mind like songs half remembered or treasure boxes whose keys are locked within.” ---New York Times

“Her finest stories dramatize the fate of the individual in a mobilized world.” ---The New York Sun

“Tawada bears out the truth that tongues can also bring inventive thoughts to vibrant life.” ---The Boston Globe
Kirkus Review

Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Author Yoko Tawada

Narrated by Paul Woodson, Christa Lewis

Publication date Mar 14, 2017

Running time 9 hrs

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