By Robert M. Sapolsky
Publish yr note: First released in 2001
In the culture of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a prime technology author and recipient of a MacArthur Genius furnish, tells the spell binding tale of his twenty-one years in distant Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons.
"I had by no means deliberate to develop into a savanna baboon while I grew up; as a substitute, I had regularly assumed i might turn into a mountain gorilla," writes Robert Sapolsky during this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist's coming-of-age in distant Africa.
An exhilarating account of Sapolsky's twenty-one-year research of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate's Memoir interweaves severe medical observations with wry statement in regards to the demanding situations and pleasures of dwelling within the wilds of the Serengeti—for guy and beast alike. Over 20 years, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, whereas witnessing the encroachment of the vacationer mentality at the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts unparalleled physiological learn on wild primates, he turns into evermore enamored of his subjects—unique and compelling characters of their personal right—and he returns to them summer time after summer season, till tragedy eventually prevents him.
By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from one in all our ideal technology writers.
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Additional info for A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
THE STUDIO APARTMENT WHERE I was staying had lots of windows and a beautiful view of a salt marsh. But the windows were far from where I lay, and I could not sit up to see out. Though they brought me light each day, the world they framed was beyond my reach. Unlike my own farmhouse, which was full of color, the walls and ceiling of this room where I woke each morning were entirely white—I felt trapped inside a stark white box. During the earlier years of my illness, I had spent countless hours on a daybed in my 1830s farmhouse, staring up at the hand-hewn beams overhead.
Perhaps it was a sort of built-in gutter system. I would learn, soon enough, that this detail proved, irrevocably, my snail’s maturity. In Italo Calvino’s book Cosmicomics, in a story titled “The Spiral,” the molluscan narrator expounds on the art of shell making and reflects on what it is like to be part shell. But it was the gastropod narrator in Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Giant Snail” that is so enchanted with its own shell that it made me want my own: Ah, but I know my shell is beautiful, and high, and glazed, and shining.
The snail loved the mushroom. It was so happy to have a familiar food, after weeks of nothing but wilted flowers, that for several days it slept right next to the huge piece of portobello, waking throughout the day to reach up and nibble before sinking back into a well-fed slumber. Each night a surprisingly large portion of the mushroom would vanish, until, by the end of the week, the very last piece had disappeared. 5. LIFE IN A MICROCOSM Everything in the world of Things and animals is still filled with happening, which you can take part in.
A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Robert M. Sapolsky