The Bear Woman (Paperback)

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The Bear Woman By Karolina Ramqvist, Saskia Vogel (Translator) Cover Image
By Karolina Ramqvist, Saskia Vogel (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

The Bear Woman is a chimera: part exploration of modernity, part historical research and retelling, and always written through a feminist lens. Ramqvist moves seamlessly between stark scenes of brutality and quieter moments filled with familial love. This beautiful autofiction is perfect for fans of Doireann Ní Ghríofa or Heidi Sopinka. Absolutely stunning!

— From Laura G Recommends


Feminist autofiction from one of Sweden's blazing talents.

Blending autofiction and essay, The Bear Woman is a journey of feminism and literary detective work spanning centuries and continents. In the 1540s, a young French noblewoman, Marguerite de la Rocque, was abandoned on an island in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with her maidservant and her lover. In present-day Stockholm, an author and mother becomes captivated by the image of Marguerite sheltered in a dark cave after her companions have died.

This image soon becomes an obsession. She must find out the real story of the woman she calls the Bear Woman. But so much in this history is written so as to gloss over male violence. And the maps and other sources she consults are at times undecipherable.

Karolina Ramqvist explores what it means to write history--and to live it.

"Karolina Ramqvist writes with frosty precision the kind of literature that is unforgettable. Her portraits of women hit deep into bone and marrow." - Dorthe Nors, author of A Line in the World"Ramqvist's acute rendering of embodied sensual experience combined with her evocation of her double character's increasingly desperate circumstances create a story of high tension, startling insights, and lasting resonance." - Siri Hustvedt, author of Mothers, Fathers and Others"One of my favorite discoveries from this year." - Samanta Schweblin, author of Little Eyes"Ramqvist is a serious contender for the Swedish literary limelight." - Shelf Awareness

"The deeply personal journey of a writer, surprising and illuminating, and for me, familiar in the most reassuring way as she loses herself in this compelling story" - Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky

About the Author

Karolina Ramqvist is one of the most influential writers and feminists of her generation in Sweden. She has written five novels to date and is widely celebrated for her powerful ability to provoke quiet yet fierce questions rather than provide loud and easy answers. In her skillful hands, contemporary issues of sexuality, commercialization, isolation, and belonging become highly charged and, at the same time, completely unaffected. In 2015 Ramqvist was awarded the prestigious P.O. Enquist Literary Prize for her novel The White City (Grove). The Bear Woman (2019) is her fifth and latest novel.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781552454312
ISBN-10: 1552454312
Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English