** Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

What could be cuter than a baby polar bear? I wanted to love the Memoirs of a Polar Bear, which tells the story of Knut, the very popular denizen of the Berlin zoo — and indeed I thoroughly enjoyed the third part of the book, which is focused on him. The first two tell the stories of his mother and grandmother, both circus performers and (we are led to believe) talented writers. I just was not able to spend disbelief and let myself enter the inner world of those two, which spoiled the fun — although sprinkled throughout are funny and wise comments on the follies of humans viewed from the animal’s perspective.

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