Eight Bears

Mythic Past and Imperiled Future

25 August 2023

Gloria Dickie (Author)


A global exploration of the eight remaining species of bears—and the dangers they face

Bears have long held a central place in our collective memory, from Greek mythology and Indigenous folklore to medieval fairytales and the modern toy shop. But as humans and bears come into ever-closer contact, our relationship nears a tipping point. Today, only eight bear species remain, some icons of the natural world (such as the panda bear and the polar bear), others obscure (such as the spectacled bear and the sloth bear). From the cloud forests of the Andes to the ice floes of the Arctic, the jungles of India to the woods of the Rocky Mountains, journalist Gloria Dickie explores each bear’s story, meeting figures on the front lines of conservation efforts and explaining the unparalleled challenges bears face. Weaving together ecology, history, and mythology, Eight Bears reveals our volatile relationship with these magnificent mammals—and warns us what we risk losing if we don’t learn to live alongside them.


"A family album of the remaining varieties of bear... As Dickie shows, bears are in deep trouble, and her book is a compelling attempt to see through their eyes. " — Edward Posnett, The Guardian

"This book is not just a bear encyclopedia. Dickie wants to ask what it means to conserve a species, and in some cases how much conservation is ‘enough’." — Katrina Gulliver, The Spectator

"Wonderfully eye-opening and compelling" — Christopher Hart, Daily Mail

"Eight Bears explores the wonder and friction that characterise the relationship between bruins and people... Gloria Dickie travels around the world, bringing readers on a riveting and unique sort of bear hunt. " — The Economist

"In this insightful, absorbing book, Gloria Dickie not only introduces us to the eight remaining species of bears themselves but deftly connects the plight of each species to a much larger story: the story of our ancient, fraught, irreplaceable relationship with these astonishing animals." — Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts

"At once heartbreaking and hopeful, steeped in science and rich in poetry, Eight Bears is an intrepid investigation into the harms we’ve inflicted upon bears—and proof that we still have the power to save our ursine brethren." — Ben Goldfarb, award-winning author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

"Gloria Dickie's fascinating book shows how far bears are embedded in our mythology and landscape. " — The Oldie


Shortlisted — Banff Mountain Festival Book Award, 2023



160 x 239 mm • 272 pages


Add to Basket



Powered by Glassboxx


Add to Basket