Fiction: Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 12 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Yoko Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear is a allegorical novel that is compulsively readable. It is the story of three generations of polar bears, all of whom express a deep-seated need to tell their stories by writing autobiographies, starting with their Russian matriarch. The story weaves its way through the agonies and adulation of life as a captive animal entrapped in various situations; yet the bears find comfort in the attention that comes from performing in front of an audience. At many points this novel has a dreamlike dissonance, exploring the cravings of companionship and sense of purpose through the personification of polar bears. It combines whimsy with a serious study of life under an oppressive political regime and the ways in which nature seeks to right itself no matter what the circumstances.

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as a book  from a genre you haven’t tried, a book everyone is talking about or a book with a person of color as the author.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book that’s been translated from another language or a book with a person of color as the author.