I saw this a couple days ago, and it just killed me with wonder, amazement, joy, and – admittedly – a little bit of freak out.
I present unto thee: Bear (1976) by Marian Engel.
This book is Canadian, and it won the Governor General’s Literary Award (which apparently is a big deal). Here’s the synopsis:
After five years buried like a mole amid the decaying maps and manuscripts of an historical institute, Lou is given a welcome field assignment: to catalogue a nineteenth-century library, improbably located in an octagonal house on a remote island in northern Ontario. Eager to reconstruct the estate’s curious history, she is unprepared for her discovery that the island has one other inhabitant: a bear.
Lou’s imagination is soon overtaken by the estate’s historical occupants, whose fascination with bear lore becomes her own. Irresistibly, Lou is led along a path of emotional and sexual self-discovery, as she explores the limits of her own animal nature through her bizarre and healing relationship with the bear.
The ’70s were so amazing.
Here are some pictures taken by a genius over at Imgur (the title of their posting? “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, CANADA?”):
(pictured: back jacket and commentary)
(pictured: excerpt and commentary)
I must read this book!
I figure what’s actually happening is that Lou is imagining this relationship with the bear, like a descent into madness tale… or the bear is a metaphor for something (maybe he’s really some burly lumberjack guy or something)… or it’s just the decade. Things were different back then, like, in terms of obscenity law and stuff.
Buy your copy of Bear on Amazon right –> here
Happy Friday, loves!!
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