- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (February 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 059537669X
- ISBN-13: 978-0595376698
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gorilla Dreams: The Legacy of Dian Fossey 0th Edition
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About the Author
Georgianne Nienaber has been an investigative environmental writer for more than thirty years and now writes a column for the Rwandan New Times. She lives in rural northern Minnesota. Recent articles have appeared in The United Nations Publication, A Civil Society Observer, AllAfrica.com, and Zimbabwe?s The Daily Mirror. Her fiction exposé of insurance fraud in the horse industry, Horse Sense, will be re-released in early 2006.
Top customer reviews
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Georgianne's ability to move into a third way of seeing and sharing the lives of Dian and Digit opened a view only good literature does. I was taken not only to the place they inhabit in the forest but deep into their relationship to each other. This story is from the outer limit of the shrinking madding / modern world. The carefully, surgically excluded feeling from Dian's own writing has a voice at last - her abiding love for and with the last our great Cousins.
Well worth a read, suspend belief and it will touch you and haunt you.
Stale biographies often simply give us the benchmarks of a person's achievements, or list the academic successes and failures, never really exploring why the person did what they did, how they felt, or if they were particularly passionate and what drove such passions. While I've not yet read the biographies or watched the motion picture or even read "Gorillas in the Mist," by Ms. Fossey, herself, Georgianne Nienaber's deeply moving account of Fossey's life makes me want to do so, just to see what everyone else said about her battle to stop poaching and the dangerous effects (such as spreading the ebola virus) caused by tourism and too much interaction with the mountain gorilla clans.
As other reviewers have noted, Georgianne Nienaber's book develops along the path of discussions with her favorite mountain gorilla, Digit. My favorite passage from the book, showing the keen insights Dian Fossey developed in her work, seen from this post-life perspective, is at the end of chapter three - which really touched my heart. I can think of no better way of describing this passage than simply sharing it with others who might consider reading this wonderful, gripping biographical novel.
I encourage you to take the time to read this one-of-a-kind jewel of American literature which I feel represents the best writing by a current Minnesota novelist. I believe that Georgianne Nienaber was greatly impassioned by Dian Fossey's writings, struggles and sacrifices -- and that it takes such passion to understand Dian Fossey's passion and why saving the mountain gorilla meant so much to Dian and now also Georgianne.
Here is my favorite passage from "Gorilla Dreams: The Legacy of Dian Fossey," beginning with Dian speaking to Digit:
"Oh, Digit, can you ever forgive me?"
"There is no need for the gorillas to forgive, Dian. We accept our existence without questioning."
"But he [Mweza] suffered too much!"
"He was cared for with loving tenderness when his mother carried him across the chasm to this side. The gorillas who had gone before protected Mweza. He tried to rally to make you feel better but was willing and eager to join the others. It was time for him to leave you."
"Describe for me how the gorillas view death."
"You had no time to observe, because you were always directing your staff to remove the bodies for your research."
This was certainly true. Whether a gorilla had been killed by the poachers, or had died in its sleep in its nights nest, we would always remove the body and carry it back to camp on a leaf-strewn litter for a complete necropsy.
"I have seen members of your group come back repeatedly to sniff the location or nest where a group member died. Is this your form of grieving, Digit?"
"Dear Nyiramacyibili [translated: `the woman who lives alone on the mountain']. We have wanted to show you. You have not observed the most surprising part. Why would we grieve? Things unfold as they should as far as the gorillas are concerned. We sing  over the body."
Digit took my hand and lifted me with strength and grace, indicating that I should climb upon his back. Together we bounded through the forest, across the grasslands and back to Karisoke. Along the way, he thrilled me with great leaps through the branches of the Hagenia trees, which were dripping with moss, vines, and succulents.
As we approached the camp at dusk, an astonishing whisper drifted across the treetops and remained suspended in the mist-laden air. The whisper swelled into an opus of harmonic purity that seemed to flow from the gates of heaven itself. I had be willing for so long to give hell its due, but the sound I heard could only have come from the throats of celestial beings. The resonance was so pure in its quality, that I held my hands over my ears, unable to assimilate the holiness of it all. I buried my face in Digit's fur, afraid to look.
Unexpectedly, the arms of the great silverback, Uncle Bert, tenderly pried me from my sanctuary. Bert carried me in his arms as a parent would carry an infant to the source of the sounds.
I opened my eyes to see all of the residents of the gorilla graveyard harmonizing over the grave of Dr. Dian Fossey.
 is a source reference to "Gorillas in the Mist," Appendix B, p. 256
I have been a keen advocate for gorillas and conservation of these creatures for many years, I have therefore become very familar with the work of Dian Fossey through my own readings and research.While Gorillas in the Mist answered many of my questions it approaches the observation of the Mountain Gorilla from a very detached objective perspective, Ms Nienaber's book manages successfully to bring the human element into Dian Fossey's work, showing the pain, selflessness, dedication and unrelenting determination that was needed to ensure the survival of Gorilla gorilla beringei.
Individuals have attempted to re-write history through their own literature and teachings which may leave one wondering as to the validity of the work achieved by Dian Fossey, Ms Nienaber through thousands of hours of meticulous research from archives of Dian Fossey's own writings leaves us wondering no more, Ms Nienaber successfully acts as a medium and shows us that the dead do have a voice.
After reading Gorilla Dreams one is left without question knowing that it is indeed Dian Fossey who is the true saviour of one of the worlds most magnificent creatures.