The Bear

224 pages


ISBN: 9781942658719

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658702

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“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

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“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

“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 dreamy, poetic novel that imagines a (nearly) humanless Earth as a thing of beauty.”


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“Beautiful. . . . A powerful allegory about the struggles and graces of life.”

America Magazine

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“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)

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

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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“Engagingly different. . . . Unfolds in graceful, luminous prose.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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“[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.”


“A lovely, unforgettable experience.”

Foreword Reviews

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“This is as close to a perfect novel as I’ve read. . . . Krivak is working with the care and atmosphere of Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams and the dire sentimentality of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but is tuned to a higher and more eternal frequency. I will treasure The Bear, and am so glad it exists to counterbalance these futile, furious times.”

Robert Martin, Independent Booksellers Consortium Executive Director

“Beautifully written. . . . [The Bear] is a fable that will move into your heart as well as your mind, and stay there forever.”

Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

“I could not put down The Bear. Although an easy read, the masterful storytelling of Andrew Krivak challenges readers with ideas of survival and adventure amidst loss. . . . A simply beautiful read.”

Heidi Carter, Bogan Books (Fort Kent, ME)

“A sparsely told story that leaves you questioning whether we are more than just our memories.”

Sydne Conant, A Room of One’s Own (Madison, WI)

“What a balm to read a book so lovely that moves at a measured pace in this fast-paced age. . . . 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 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)

“Tender and lyrical, beautifully descriptive and with just enough suspense to temper the story, The Bear is divine.”

Lee Virden Geurkink, Monkey and Dog Books (Fort Worth, TX)

“Ancient in its rhythm and content, Andrew Krivak’s The Bear reads as a folktale from an entirely possible, fast-approaching future. The lives that may very well be lived by the last of us are lyrically and lovingly articulated across these pages.”

Jack Hawthorn, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

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The Bear is a beautifully written modern fable. . . . It feels both timeless and very much of our time, as it plays on anxieties about climate change and the end of human civilization.”

Kathleen Keenan, A Novel Spot Bookshop (Etobicoke, ON)

“Read The Bear to be transformed.”

Laura Mills, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX)

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“This book is majestic! A beautiful and poignant tribute to nature and the resiliency of the spirit.”

Rachel Oriatti, Anderson’s Bookshop (Downers Grove, IL)

“Flora and fauna further a companionless young woman’s education in survival in The Bear. I fought tears throughout the girl’s journey: her story is THAT BEAUTIFUL!.”

Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books (East Troy, WI)

“This was such an interesting book. Not very long, but the way the prose felt slow and meaningful pulled me in and made me slow down to read it. . . . When I finished, I felt like I’d had an experience, not just read a book.”

Izzy Stringham, Bookbinders Basalt (Basalt, CO)

“A stunningly quiet, simple, and perfect book.”

Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)

“A young girl and her father live alone in a mountain forest that fronts a lake in a devastated world. She learns from him how to live off the land, hunting for food, and finding shelter. The Bear is the moving story of a journey they make together to the ocean, and the bear who helps her find her way back home. For fans of The Dogs Stars (Heller) and The Road (McCarthy).”

LibraryReads citation, Sandy Jones Boyd, Mountain Regional Public Library (Young Harris, GA)

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“Immerses the reader in nature and explores man’s relationship with the surrounding life.”

Kari Bingham-Gutierrez, Olathe Public Library (Olathe, KS)

“Krivak definitely has a gift for unique stories and I know my patrons will really enjoy his work.”

Meagan Brown, Cromaine District Library (Hartland, MI)

“Very enjoyable.”

Kayla Campbell, Plum City Public Library (Plum City, WI)

“Unique, remarkable, and beautiful.”

Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library (Delphi, IN)

“Gorgeous prose and luscious descriptions of the natural world. Krivak reminds us of our own frailty and the fierce bond between human and animal.”

Lillian Dabney, Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum (Seattle, WA)

“Refreshing. . . . A simple story written with an unflinching but compassionate voice, Krivak’s tale should be thoughtfully savored while it slowly winds its way into your moral conscience.”

Kyle Evans, Springfield-Greene County Library (Springfield, MO)

“Add me to those who loved The Bear by Andrew Krivak. This is one of those books that seems simplistic at first and then completely draws you in to its world.”

Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Brooklyn, OH)

“Stunning. . . . Krivak gives us a startling view of the future; of being alone and trying to understand a world that no longer exists.”

Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System (WY)

“This adult fable touches on themes of family, the environment, the struggle for survival, and the need for harmony with nature. I enjoyed meeting the Bear, the Puma, and the fierce unnamed female narrator who was stronger than I could ever imagine. This one is compelling.”

Kelly Moore, Carrollton Public Library (Carrollton, TX)

“This was a book that really makes you think about the future and the choices that we as humans are making today.”

Courtney Reynolds, John Tomay Memorial Library (Georgetown, CO)

“I ended up reading this in one sitting because I enjoyed it so much. . . . The words were simple and honest, but the picture they painted was delightful.”

Lauren Rhodes, St. Louis County Library (St. Louis, MO)

“Hauntingly beautiful, written in a poetic style, I highly recommend The Bear.”

Judy Sebastian, Eastham Public Library and Friends of the Eastham Library (Eastham, MA)

“A wondrous take on love, loss and the natural world.”

Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library (Batavia, IL)

“This book combines the elegiac, hauntingly spare prose of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road with the vivid nature writing of Jack London, plus a dash of magical realism. . . . The writing is beautifully evocative, through each season and habitat.”

Maree Watkins, Fairfax County Public Library (Fairfax, VA)

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.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature’s dominion.

LibraryReads Pick!

BuzzFeed “Most Anticipated Books of the Year” selection

Library Journal “Editors’ Picks” selection

Buzz Books by Publishers Lunch selection

Excerpt from The Bear

Upcoming Events

Be among the first to discover Andrew Krivak’s forthcoming novel The Bear, a LibraryReads Pick, by downloading an excerpt from Buzz Books by Publishers Lunch and pre-order your signed copy from Harvard Book Store by February 10!


Discover the origins of The Bear in Library Journal.