Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada
Trade paperback format.
Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers. Famous stars of the literary world, the circus, and the zoo, they happen to be polar bears who move human society. In part one, the matriarch, enjoying “the intimacy of being alone with my pen,” accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography in the Soviet Union. In part two, her daughter Tosca moves to East Germany and pioneers a thrilling circus act. And Tosca’s son—the last of their line—is Knut, born in part three and raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo.
Memoirs of a Polar Bear works on many levels, fizzing with ideas on exile, migration and love… questioning what it means to be human.
In this masterful performance of ‘otherness,’ Tawada pushes us to feel the humming possibility between how things appear and what they could be.