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Summer of The Dancing Bear

Summer of The Dancing Bear

By Bianca Lakoseljac

Summer of the Dancing Bear is a historical novel about the "rite of passage"of 14-year-old Kata befriended by a gypsy clan. The novel explores Kata's search for a viable identity, acceptance of death, and understanding of love, through her journey of solving the mystery of the disappearance of a two-year-old girl that occurred when Kata was eight years old. The story evolves within a village community polarized by racial intolerance between the villagers and the gypsies, where she grows up under the tutelage of her grandmother. It is set in 1960s Yugoslavia, still reeling from the horrors of the Second World War.


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


256 pages |

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Bianca Lakoseljac's debut novel, The Summer of the Dancing Bear, is a mesmerizing melange of love story and mystery, as young protagonist Kata explores the unfamiliar world of the gypsy tribe that has befriended her and embarks on a quest to discover the fate of a neighbour's missing child. Memory and magic play their roles until the shocking denouement that reveals Kata's own family secrets and forever alters her perceptions of life as she once knew it. Engaging and original, the novel fuses history, myth, and tradition in a whimsical literary voice that reminds us that the complex and innocent humanity in us is too often haunted by human tragedy.

Elizabeth Abbott

A mesmerizing combination of love story and mystery all rolled into one.

Karen's Corner Reviews

Tightly-plotted and rewarding. It honors the oppressed and wandering Romany tribes, effectively portraying their lust for life as well as their humanity and enlightened traditions.

Basso Profundo


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About the author

Bianca Lakoseljac’s second novel, Stone Woman—that relives Toronto’s 1967 “summer of love”—is being released by Guernica Editions, Fall 2016. Bianca is the author of a novel, Summer of the Dancing Bear; a collection of stories, Bridge in the Rain (Guernica, 2012, 2010); and a book of poetry, Memoirs of a Praying Mantis (Turtle Moons Press, 2009). She is TWUC liaison for the National Reading Campaign, past president of the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto, has judged various national literary competitions, and has served on a number of literary contest panels. Bianca taught at Ryerson University and Humber College. She holds an MA from York U, and is the winner of the Matthew Ahern Memorial Award in literature. Stone Woman video:;