BEAR

Myth. An­i­mal. Icon.

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Wolf D. Storl, North At­lantic Books (JAN­UARY) Soft­cover $21.95 (320pp), 978-1-62317-163-6

Long ago, dogs and cats re­nounced their wild ways in ex­change for food served in bowls and a warm place around the fire. In sub­mit­ting to hu­mans, they be­came the laugh­ing­stocks of the an­i­mal king­dom. Bears and hu­mans, on the other hand, have de­vel­oped a fas­ci­nat­ing re­la­tion­ship, one that delves into any num­ber of spheres, from spir­i­tu­al­ity to sex­u­al­ity, mythol­ogy, and medicine. Re­cent ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds con­firm that bears have pre­oc­cu­pied the imag­i­na­tions of hu­mans and even Ne­an­derthals since time im­memo­rial.

Bear: Myth. An­i­mal. Icon. grants this mighty, bril­liant, gal­lant an­i­mal the rock star treat­ment, de­tail­ing the ways and whys that hu­mans and bears have in­ter­acted—not al­ways pleas­antly, of course. A renowned woods­man, Wolf D. Storl re­lates dozens of folk­tales and anec­dotes from ev­ery bear-fa­mil­iar cor­ner of the world, and the book’s il­lus­tra­tions only add to the in­trigue.

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