The Bukowski Agency - The Bear

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65,000 words


US: Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown, Feb 2014
World English Audio: Little, Brown
Canada: Doubleday
UK: Harvill Secker, Random House UK, Feb 2014
Brazil (Portuguese): Bertrand Brasil
France: Kero
Greece: Brainfood Publishing Ltd.
Italy: Società Editrice Milanese
Netherlands: Cargo/De Bezige Bij
Turkey: Nefes Yayinevi
Vietnam: Skybook Company


Claire Cameron (Photo: Roberto Caruso)
(Photo: Roberto Caruso)

Born in 1973, Claire Cameron grew up in Toronto. She studied History and Culture at Queen's University. She then worked as an instructor for Outward Bound, teaching mountaineering, climbing, and white-water rafting in Oregon. Next she worked in San Francisco for Pearson Plc before moving to London in 1999. There she was director of Shift Media, a consultancy whose clients included the BBC, McGraw-Hill, and Oxford University Press. Her first novel was the taut thriller The Line Painter. Claire lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.


The Bear

a novel by Claire Cameron

Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction


The Bear - US coverAlgonquin Park consists of nearly three thousand square miles of wilderness situated 250miles northeast of Toronto. It is a popular destination for campers, hikers, and canoeists. When in 1991 a couple who went on a camping trip there failed to return, friends contacted the police. Their partially eaten remains were found, with a large male black bear standing guard over them. There is no clear reason for what happened. Attacks by healthy black bears are extremely rare.

Claire Cameron has imagined what might have transpired ifthe couple had brought small children with them. The Bear grabs you by the throat and will not let you go. Written by an author who has much experience of both wilderness survival and motherhood, it is abrilliant examination of how children help each other and themselves in such circumstances – a sort of rebuttal to Lord of the Flies.



The Bear had me up all night, and when I finally put it down I knew that I wouldn't forget Anna and her little brother Stick for a long time. Claire Cameron is an absolute master in letting us feel grief and loss by never using those words. The ending is very moving and offers us real consolation at the same time.”— HERMAN KOCH, author of The Dinner

“A tender, terrifying, poignant ride. Hang on.”— OPRAH.COM

“Remarkable and riveting … Cameron does a masterful job of capturing Anna’s voice and inner world … But the real beauty in this novel, despite the absence of the children’s parents, is its depiction of parental love.”— CALGARY HERALD

“It's heartbreaking. It's a one-sitting read, because once you begin, it is utterly impossible to put down.”— ABOUT.COM, Contemporary Literature

“It was even more haunting the second time around.”— THE INDEPENDENTThe Bear - UK cover

“Our ability to reconnect with the world is always tested when incidents such as the reallife attack by a bear on unsuspecting humans occur. The issue is frequently raised in the literature of trauma and it is handled by Cameron, in this instance, with sure handedness and imaginative intensity.”— NATIONAL POST

“A gripping survival thriller … [an] agonizing odyssey of loss and being lost also has humour. The book’s anguished yet hopeful ending provides a touching terminus for Anna and Stick’s journey to adulthood. This expertly crafted novel could do for camping what Jaws did for swimming.”— PEOPLE

“Emotionally raw and deftly astute … You’ll probably find yourself reading this amazing survival story well into the night.”— PUREWOW BOOKS

“This book is absolutely heartbreaking … The gravity of this girl's loss, the immensity ofher frustration and confusion, and the sheer power of her resolve and determination not to let her parents down through taking care of her brother is beyond anything I ever expected when I picked this book up and started reading.”— LITREACTOR.COM

“Anna’s sentence structure and thought process set a pace that never falters, even as she struggles to make sense of her surroundings and what is demanded of her.”— BELLA'S BOOKSHELVES

“Stylistically impressive and deeply moving.”— GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

The Bear - Dutch cover“The story is laced with humor and moments of joy and triumph as well as fear and sorrow … so gripping that it is hard to put the novel down.”— THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

“Read this book in one sitting.”— THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“A hauntingly beautiful novel about the unspoken bond between mothers and children.”— MIRIAM TOEWS, author of A Complicated Kindess

“The concerns of the young narrator—being good, remaining brave when her parents and her teddy bear are now gone, how annoying her brother is—are an engaging, focused lens through which to view events in the novel…This is a fast, compelling read for nature lovers.”— LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

“Harrowing…a sort of youngster stream of consciousness…There’s touchingly voiced courageousness here…From the conception to the execution, the book is an exploration of anguish from a child’s point of view, shaded and shaped by Cameron.”— BOOKLIST

“[A] narration that nicely captures an ordinary child’s way of thinking—and of blocking out unwelcome knowledge … a slam-bang opening … a touching epilogue … Harrowing but ultimately hopeful.”— KIRKUS REVIEWS

“This book [is] a challenging but ultimately uplifting experience.”— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

The Bear - French cover“An emotional tour de force. Claire Cameron’s The Bear offers us an unforgettable child-narrator who propels us through a story as unsettling as it is bone-chilling, and as suspenseful as it is moving.”— MEGAN ABBOTT, author of Dare Me and The End of Everything

“Claire Cameron has written a chilling, beautiful, voice-driven novel, one that will turn your blood cold, make you laugh, and remind you of all the ways you are human. Most importantly she honors the complexity of our relationship with nature, the ways we are humbled by it and tethered to it. A vivid, potent, and unforgettable novel.”— MARY MAYHEW BERGMAN, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise

“Claire Cameron plunges us in to the dark terrors of the wilderness. The Bear is a survival story that is heart-pounding and moving. I devoured this book.”— TANIS RIDEOUT, author of Above All Things

“A harrowing and endlessly hopeful novel…. [Cameron’s] assured evocation of soon-to-be-six-year-old Anna hits all the right notes. We witness the unfolding of events through Anna’s eyes while simultaneously watching over her small shoulder, hearts in our mouths.”  — ALISSA YORK, author of Fauna

The Bear - Vietnamese coverThe Bear is a taut and touching story of how a child's love and denial become survival skills. Claire Cameron takes a fairytale situation of children pitted against the wilderness, removes the fairies, and adds a terrifying and ravenous bear. I devoured this wonderful new novel in one day—if I can use the word ‘devoured’ for a book about a bear.”  — CHARLOTTE ROGAN, author of The Lifeboat

The Bear faultlessly captures the wonder, bewilderment, fear and self-centeredness of five-year-old Anna, and beautifully balances the darkness of her tale with a hopeful, sensitively told back story and moments when she grasps her situation with just enough clarity to shoulder her burden.”  — CATHY MARIE BUCHANAN, author of The Painted Girls

“Harrowing suspense. The Bear is a survival thriller that is told from a child's-eye point-of-view, which is not only convincing but doubles the tension. A heartbreaking, white-knuckle read.”  — ANDREW PYPER, author of The Demonologist

“Thrilling and harrowing…. I couldn’t put this book down. And I must say that the ending was so right, I caught myself holding my breath. A remarkable novel.”  — ANTHONY DE SA, author of Kicking the Sky


The Bear Italian edition

Author Claire Cameron promoting her novel L'Orso (The Bear) at the 2018 Turin
International Book Fair in Turin, Italy
Click on each photo to enlarge their image
Claire Cameron at the 2018 Turin International Book Fair Claire Cameron at the 2018 Turin International Book Fair Claire Cameron at the 2018 Turin International Book Fair



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