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Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo Paperback – Bargain Price, June 7, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Funny, adventurous, and heartbreaking, Woods takes us with her to darkest Africa to meet our nearest relative, the nearly extinct bonobo. This must-read book illuminates extraordinary courage in both people and animals."
-Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants

"Gain insights into both the darkness and altruistic sides of our own emotions by getting to know chimpanzees and bonobos in an African sanctuary. This book is both shocking and hilarious."
-Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

"Don't think that this is just a book about apes. It's a love story, an adventure story, and a political education about a country that has seen more tragedy and inhumanity than you can imagine. Above all, it's an introduction to creatures who have every claim to being more human, in the best sense of the word, than we are."
-Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost

"This is a startling book. Page after page astonished me. A beautifully written journey into the tangled jungle of the human mind, it also brings us movingly into intimate, loving contact with our extraordinary cousins. This is a compelling story, told with striking honesty, humor, and intelligence."
-Alan Alda, author of New York Times bestsellers Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself and Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

"This is a thoughtful, eloquent memoir, well written and well researched, alternately charming and horrific."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Woods' account of her time with the Bonobo apes is a story to savor."

"[Woods'] book about her work in the Congo is exciting, informative and personal. It is hard to come away without a soft spot for these frisky cousins of ours."
-St Louis Post Dispatch

"A page turner that journeys into the deepest jungle to tell a story of war, a peaceful primate cousin of man, and love - between woman and man and woman and ape."
-The Durham News

"A late-in-life coming-of-age story, Bonobo Handshake touches on redemption, the war and history of the Congo, anthropological science, research and its ethics, sex, and, principally, bonobos - one of humanity's closest living relatives. Dense, thoughtful, and at once playful and terribly harsh, Bonobo Handshake tells us a story we need to know."

"It is indeed a window into the emotions and psychology of our nearest primate relatives, bonobos and chimps. But more than that it's a revealing look into the mind and heart of a young woman finding her way as a scientist and a conservationist."
-NOVA blog/

About the Author

Vanessa Woods is a research assistant, journalist, and author of children’s books. A member of the Hominoid Psychology Research Group, she works with Duke University as well as Lola Ya Bonobo in Congo. She is also a feature writer for the Discovery Channel, and her writing has appeared in publications such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa. Her first book, It’s Every Monkey for Themselves, was published in Australia in 2007. Woods lives in North Carolina with her husband, scientist Brian Hare.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • Product Dimensions : 5.34 x 0.79 x 8.1 inches
  • Publisher : Gotham; Reprint Edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Reading level : 18 and up
  • ASIN : B0064XCOZ6
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 14 ratings