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Cover for The Language of Kin

The Language of Kin

A Novel

Lynne Hugo


List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From the award-winning author of A Matter of Mercy and The Testament of Harold’s Wife, comes a beautifully written exploration of how the language of healing can transcend seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Eve, a chimpanzee orphaned by poachers and used for experiments in a medical lab, can finally lead a new life. When she arrives at the Dayton Zoo, Kate and Marc must overcome professional differences to build a relationship with her. Forced to work together, Kate and Marc find common ground when they discover they both are the sole caregivers for their mothers, one who has been deaf her entire life and the other who recently lost her ability to process words. After a life-threatening crisis occurs, can they find the courage—and the shared language—to reach across these silent divides to heal the ones they love?

Praise For The Language of Kin: A Novel

"Hugo takes a compelling look at the ethical issues and connections between humans and our fellow animals. THE LANGUAGE OF KIN offers a well-researched, unbiased perspective into this multifaceted issue through a well-written, captivating story,” —Samantha Russak, Zoo Director of Education

“Hugo’s latest [The Book of CarolSue] is a sweet, sad, funny, meditation on the nature of aging and grief…This is a novel that would fit right in on the shelf next to novels like A Man Called Ove and similar books that balance humor and heartbreak.” —Booklist

“A widower takes up her late husband’s mission to get revenge on the man who killed their grandson in the gripping latest from Hugo [The Testament of Harold's Wife]…Louisa is a charming protagonist.” —Publishers Weekly


"[The Testament of Harold's Wife is] A winning and wonderful novel, with a unique and distinctive storyline, there is a little bit of magic for everyone within the pages of this book.” —The New York Journal of Books


The Testament of Harold’s Wife is a richly told tale that explores the human/animal connection and the journey to get past tragedy. Louisa, the spunky, elderly narrator delivers a tender hymn of hope and rebirth that stays with you long after the last page.” —Kim Michele Richardson, NYT bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Blank Slate Press, 9781943075775, 390pp.

Publication Date: July 11, 2023

About the Author

Lynne Hugo is the author of ten previous novels. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Where the Trail Grows Faint won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Born and educated in New England, Lynne and her husband now live in Ohio with Scout, a yellow Lab, terror of squirrels and renowned for his shortstop skill with launched tennis balls and unnecessary barking.