Without scientific training but with abundant determination, Dian Fossey persuaded the eminent Louis Leakey to send her to Africa to study the last remaining mountain gorillas.
Fossey, always extreme, was what you call "hands on." She virtually lived with the gorillas, slowly earning their trust. However, the closer to anthropoids, the farther from humans. More militant each year, she antagonized friends and earned enemies. In the end they killed her.
"Only the author's disciplined research, compassionate heart and inspired prose could have made us understand how one woman saved the animals that she loved so much." --Diane McMeekin, African Wildlife Foundation
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Hayes's book, promoted as the first "completely objective portrait" of Fossey, provides some new details on her life but has a rather offensive emphasis on her emotional and sexual history. Moreover, Hayes, who died in 1989 and was the author of the African memoir The Last Place on Earth ( LJ 4/15/77), pays little attention to the gorillas themselves. Fossey's own Gorillas in the Mist ( LJ 5/15/83) remains the best account of her obsessive and tragic devotion to the gorillas. Still, this book and Farley Mowat's Woman of the Mist ( LJ 10/15/87), which also describes Fossey's passionate nature, her unorthodox methods of protecting the gorillas, and her murder by an unknown assailant, will be good secondary sources for patrons who want to know more about this fascinating figure. Literary Guild alternate.
- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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