We are thrilled to announce that Award-winning author Trina Moyles’ BLACK BEAR has been sold to Amanda Betts, Senior Editor, Knopf Canada for English-language in Canada!

From Trina Moyles, author of LOOKOUT and WOMEN WHO DIG, comes a deeply intimate portrait of learning to coexist with Ursus Americanus, the American black bear, in the northern boreal forest. 

From a remote fire tower in the wilderness, Trina comes face to face with a group of black bears, who challenge her to unpack her fears of, and prejudices about, them as predators, pests, and “problem bears.” She learns to look beyond her fear and comes to observe the extraordinary essence of the black bear, a lesser-valued bear species with a long history of cruel mistreatment by humans. 

In BLACK BEAR, we meet Osa, a small yearling cub with two new moons on her chest, whom Trina fondly watches during the course of four years, as Osa develops from cub to subadult to the mother bear of a young cub Trina calls Osito. There’s Oscar, a dominant male with a striking white O on his chest, who stomps after the females; Big Mama, who nurses her cubs only metres away; and Canelo, a gentle, cinnamon-coloured bear who edges closer, crossing boundaries, and challenging Trina’s assumptions about what co-existing with a predator species means. As she closely observes the bears feeding, courting, mating, and raising their young throughout their life cycles, Trina reflects on the violence of the colonial mindset, which has determined how humans “manage” bears and the environment.

Trina tells the story of growing up in rural Alberta with her older brother, Brendan, during the oil boom of the 1990s, as they navigated substance abuse, addiction, violence, the deaths of their peers, and a decade-long estrangement from one another. She recalls the early memory of their father, a wildlife biologist, bringing home an orphaned black bear cub for a night before it was sent off to the zoo, after logging machinery had crushed its mother’s den. The memory of the cub haunted Trina, as does the memory of her brother. Black Bear is the story of a woman reflecting on what it means to co-exist with humans and non-humans, and attempt to work past stereotypes, heal painful divides, and redefine the meaning of family. It is a meditation on sibling loss, family, grief, and abundance. Black Bear reminds us of the fragility of our relationships with human and nonhuman species alike, and the imperative to protect wild ecosystems, as well as the humans whom we hold closest and call family.

Men have long dominated the literature about bears. BLACK BEAR builds on the work that Charlie Russell, Doug Peacock, and Sid Marty began many years ago, and offers a female-driven narrative, which illuminates the nuances of coexisting with bears. At the same time, the book explores the imposition of human patriarchy and a colonial mindset on the management of wild species and forests in North America, and the harm that paradigm has perpetrated for centuries.

Trina Moyles is an award-winning freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories about social justice and the environment. Her first book, WOMEN WHO DIG: FARMING, FEMINISM, AND THE FIGHT TO FEED THE WORLD was a finalist for several awards, including Best New Book of the 2019 High Plains Literary Awards and Best Book of the 2019 Saskatchewan Book Awards. Moyles’s essay “Herd Memory” won the 2019 Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award, and the Silver prize at the National Magazine Awards in 2020. In 2021, she received the prestigious invitation to represent Canada as a literary delegate at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Moyles’ second creative nonfiction work, LOOKOUT: LOVE, SOLITUDE, AND SEARCHING FOR WILDFIRE IN THE BOREAL FOREST won a National Outdoor Book Prize in November 2021. In addition, LOOKOUT won the inaugural Memoir Award at the 2022 Alberta Literary Awards, and was a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Moyles recently received the 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, Alberta’s highest honour for the arts, for her dedication to her writing career. 

Trina is represented by Marilyn Biderman.