Bonobo Handshake

Bonobo Handshake Cover

Bonobo Handshake

A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo

By Vanessa Woods

Gotham Books, Paperback, 9781592406340, 278pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

A young woman follows her fiance to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes-who teach her a new truth about love.
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 of Congo. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiance entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA and who 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 in this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa.

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."