'Bear,' she cried. 'I love you. Pull my head off.'
Lou is a shy and diligent librarian at the local Heritage Institute. She lives a mole-like existence, buried among maps and manuscripts in her dusty basement office. With nothing and no one to go home to, she resigns herself to passionless sex on her desk with the Institute's Director.
When she is summoned to a remote island to inventory the house and estate of the late Colonel Jocelyn Cary, she takes it as an opportunity to head north and get out of the city, hoping for an industrious summer of cataloguing.
Colonel Cary left many possessions behind, but no one warned her about the bear. Lou soon begins to anticipate the bear's needs for food and company. But as summer blooms across the island and Lou shakes off the city, she realises the bear might satisfy some needs of her own.
Marian Engel (1933-1985) was born in Toronto, Canada. After winning the Rotary Foundation Scholarship and studying French in Aix-en Provence, Engel worked as a translator in England. Her novels include No Clouds of Glory, The Honeymoon Festival, Bear, which won the Governor General's Literary Award, and the Lunatic Villas, winner of the Toronto Book Award. A passionate advocate for Candian writers, she was one of the founding members and served as first chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, founded in 1973.