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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.
|Publisher:||Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.36(d)|
About the Author
Marian Engel was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1933. She grew up in the Ontario towns of Brantford, Galt, Hamilton, and Sarnia. She received her B.A. (1955) from McMaster University and her M.A. (1957) from McGill University, where she wrote her thesis, “The Canadian Novel, 1921-55,” under the supervision of Hugh MacLennan.
After living abroad and teaching in the United States and Europe, Engel returned to Canada in 1964 and settled in Toronto, which was to remain her home.
Her many novels and short stories explore the daily lives of her contemporaries, frequently reflecting upon the human condition from the perspective of women.
Engel was a founding member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and served as its first chairman in 1973-74.
Marian Engel died in Toronto in 1985.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Big disappointment. It was recommended on a list of award winning books to read yet managed to be both boring and bizarre. I can see that the writer is talented—the writing is elegant and she does a fine job of creating sentences that aptly describe without excess verbage, but the story itself is boring, and the main character Lou is not likeable. The choices she made didn't seem to have enough foundation, so I found myself constantly wondering, “Ok why is she doing THIS weird thing that makes no sense? And now why THAT?” I knew that the book was about an isolated woman, Lou, who falls in love with a bear, but I expected that the writer would lay the foundation for WHY she does this, so that within the confines of the world of the novel, it would make sense. Instead the book describes the bear as “tired and sad”, “stupid and defeated”, with eyes that are “piggish and ugly”, dirty, and smelling of “shit and musk”. I pretty much felt sorry for the bear the entire book. Lou's other actions in the book don't seem to be believable either. Best thing I can say about the book is that it is short!