is equal parts behavioral science, history, personal memoir, and coming-of-age tale. I usually consider it a mistake when an author tries to cram too much into a book, trying to be all things to all readers, as the end result is often a work that does a poor job covering all aspects of the chosen material. Vanessa Woods, however, manages to pull off this balancing act in a remarkably satisfying manner. One topic flows into the next naturally, almost conversationally, providing connection and continuity between diverse subjects. This allows her to cover a lot of ground without any one subject bogging down the narrative or becoming too dry. It does prevent her from going into a great deal of depth, particularly when covering African history, but she provides enough of an overview so that the reader understands the context in which her memoir takes...
Beyond the Book
Vanessa Woods with bonobos in a wildlife sanctuary
in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sydney Morning Herald
Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are one of the two species that make up the genus Pan,
along with Pan troglodytes, the Common Chimpanzee. Chimps and bonobos are the
closest extant relative to humans, sharing almost 99% of our DNA. They are also
the least known of the great apes (which in addition to bonobos includes chimpanzees,
orangutans, and gorillas), and remained unidentified as a separate species until