Lorri Coburn's Reviews > Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo

Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods
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's review
Sep 19, 2010

really liked it
Read in September, 2010

I had not heard of Bonobos, a cousin of the chimpanzee. Bonobos don't have the killer instinct that chimps have--instead they are lovers and engage in lots of sex. Vanessa lived in the Congo with her anthropologist husband, who is researching what makes the bonobos so cooperative. This story covers her joys, heartbreaks, and disillusionments. I was surprised to fall in love with the bonobos, too, as her character descriptions are excellent. As a result, I cried and laughed throughout.

Interspersed is recent historical information about the genocide and government in the Congo. Vanessa noted that we hear a lot about Darfur and Rwanda, but very little about the Congo and bonobos. Bonobos are a threatened species and she hopes to get word out to save them.
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message 1: by Patty (new)

Patty Diane Rehm interviewed this author, along with a couple of researchers, and it was fascinating. If you go to the podcast for June 1 you can listen to it.


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