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Bookclub: Lisez l’Allemagne

Feb 13, 2018, 6:30 pm
Goethe-Institut Montreal

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with Yoko Tawada’s “Memoirs of a Polar Bear”

Attention: This book club takes place on a Tuesday.

The upcoming book club of the season of Lisez l’Europe features a book from Germany.

The book chosen for this session is “Memoirs of a Polar Bear”, by Yoko Tawada. The discussion will be held in French and moderated by Marie-Pierre Poulin, director of the library for the Goethe-Institut Montreal.

About the Book:

Memoirs of a Polar Bear has in spades what Rivka Galchen hailed in the New Yorker as “Yoko Tawada’s magnificent strangeness”—Tawada is an author like no other. Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son—the last of their line—is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away…

Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.” (


Language: French
Price: Free admittance – RSVP required (before February 9th)

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