A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes—who teach her a new truth about love and belonging
In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the war-torn Democratic Republic ofCongo. Settling in at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in Congo’s capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA. Vanessa soon discovered that bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake.
A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa’s self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings. Courageous and extraordinary, Almost French meets The Poisonwood Bible in this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa.
From National Book Award Finalist Eliot Schrefer comes the compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos — and herself — from a violent coup. Based on Schrefer’s trip to Lola ya Bonobo, Endangered features the sanctuary and heavily draws inspiration from the bonobos Schrefer met.
Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good. When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she’s not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.
But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary is attacked, and the two of them must escape unprepared into the jungle. Caught in the crosshairs of a lethal conflict, they must struggle to keep safe, to eat, and to live.
In Endangered, Eliot Schrefer plunges us into a heart-stopping exploration of the things we do to survive, the sacrifices we make to help others, and the tangled geography that ties us all, human and animal, together. Buy Endangered here.
Sara Gruen has written another New York Times Bestseller – and this time it’s about bonobos! Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.
Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.
Ape House delivers great entertainment, but it also opens the animal world to us in ways few novels have done, securing Sara Gruen’s place as a master storyteller who allows us to see ourselves as we never have before.
All the bonobos on the cover are from Lola – and Lola features a cameo!! Sara has sponsored every one of the bonobos to Lola and continues to support Friends of Bonobos through generous donations. Buy Ape House here.
Wild Life Heroes
We are honored to announce that Claudine Andre is featured in the new book Wildlife Heroes, written by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken. Through the real-life stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to conservation, stunning photographs, and fascinating information about some of the world’s most incredible creatures, this book will inspire us all to help make a difference!
Wildlife Heroes is now available in books stores and for purchase on-line; with 100% of the proceeds going to support the projects featured in the book. For more information, please visit WildlifeHeroes.org.