Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Yoko Tawada

Published: 2 November 2017
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781846276323

Other Editions

Trade Paperback

Image of

Published: 2 March 2017
Trade Paperback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781846276316

Ebook Available


A bear, born and raised in captivity, is devastated by the loss of his keeper; another finds herself performing in the circus; a third sits down one day and pens a memoir which becomes an international sensation, and causes her to flee her home.

Through the stories of these three bears, Tawada reflects on our own humanity, the ways in which we belong to one another and the ways in which we are formed. Delicate and surreal, Memoirs of a Polar Bear takes the reader into foreign bodies and foreign climes, and immerses us in what the New Yorker has called 'Yoko Tawada's magnificent strangeness'.

About the author


Hauntingly strange... enchanting... deliciously whimsical and playful... it's through the eyes of [Tawada's] polar bears that we see humanity most clearlyLucy Scholes



Surreal and beguiling... fizzing with ideas... funny and outrageous... Memoirs of a Polar Bear dazzles.’

‘Disconcerting and exhilaratingly strange. With a deft wave of her literary wand, Tawada dissolves the frontier between humans and animals, disorientating us so that we can be more properly oriented towards ourselves’ Charles Foster

‘Enchanting... an absorbing work from a fascinating mind’

‘In chronicling the lives of three generations of uniquely talented polar bears, the fantastically gifted Yoko Tawada has created an unforgettable meditation on celebrity, art, incarceration, and the nature of consciousness. Tawada is, far and away, one of my favourite writers, working today - thrilling, discomfiting, uncannily beautiful, like no one you have ever read before. Memoirs of a Polar Bear is Tawada at her best: humanity, as seen through the eyes of these bears, has never looks quite so stirringly strange’ Laura van den Berg, author

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts