Discussion European Book Club

Memoirs of a Polar Bear, Yoko Tawada © nd Publishing

Thu, 02/20/2020

Goethe-Institut Toronto

100 University Ave, North Tower, 2nd Floor

Discussing "Memoirs of a Polar Bear"

Join us for our next European Book Club meeting as we discuss Yoko Tawada's book, Memoirs of a Polar Bear on Thursday, February 20, 2020. We'll be meeting at 6:30pm in the Goethe-Institut Toronto library. The moderator will be Philipp Schnaase.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear is the sombre but humourous tale of three generations of talented writers and performers from the same polar bear family. The matriarch is a memoirist forced to flee the Soviet Union. Her daughter Tosca mmoves to East Germany and pioneers a thrilling circus act. Knut is Tosca's son and a bear cub at the Berlin Zoo who took the international media by storm. The book almost works as three separate novellas, asking what it really means to be human.

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several books—stories, novels, poems, plays, essays—in both languages. She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, the Kleist Prize, and the Goethe Medal.

Yoko Tawada was our guest in 2018 and you can see her do a short interview in the library on our YouTube channel here.