The Bear


Cover image for The Bear
Publication Date: 2020-02-11 00:00:00 -0500

In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.


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Praise for The Bear

In spare and lovely prose, Andrew Krivak folds the deep past and the far future into a remarkable fable about our inheritance as humanity makes a harmonic return to the spirit and animal worlds. This book follows you, like a river under ice.

– Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master’s Son and Fortune Smiles

Krivak’s nature writing is simply divine. This lyrical fable has a few white-knuckled moments, but it’s the story’s tender spirituality that kept me up reading through the night.

– Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café (Plainville, MA)

What a balm to read a book so lovely that moves at a measured pace in this fast-paced age. That, too, is the point of The Bear, where life itself is lived with deep attention to the animals, landscape, and seasons by the very last humans on Earth, who by necessity and love share what they learn in remarkable fashion. This is a book that takes the reader to heart: a story to be savored, a grace to be received.

– Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s Books (Northern California)

[Krivak’s] sentences are polished stones of wonder…. The elegiac tone reflects what is lost and what will be lost, an enchantment as if Wendell Berry had reimagined Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

– Booklist

Engagingly different…. Unfolds in graceful, luminous prose.

– Library Journal (starred review)

A moving post-apocalyptic fable for grown-ups.… Ursula K. Le Guin would approve.

– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

With artistry and grace…Krivak delivers a transcendent journey into a world where all living things — humans, animals, trees — coexist in magical balance, forever telling each other’s unique stories. This beautiful and elegant novel is a gem

– Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reading The Bear will bring you back to the wonder-filled stories of childhood, the sort that linger, that alter our understanding of the world, that shape who we become. Such is the simple and profound power of Andrew Krivak’s unexpectedly hopeful novel. Crafted with as much care and mastery as the finest oaken bow, this is a book that manages to be both timeless and urgent, clear-eyed and tender-hearted, archetypal and unconventional: a bedtime tale told by a prophet. A wonder in itself.

– Josh Weil, author of The New Valley and The Age of Perpetual Light

A tight yet expansive novel in prose so vivid you forget these are words and not the cedar, trout, and stones of a post-Anthropocene Earth. Through the middle of The Bear walks an unnamed girl whose determination to go on living will fill you with awe.

– Salvatore Scibona, author of The End and The Volunteer
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