Friday, November 30, 2012

The Author Stage - Andrew Westoll

In partnership with The Canada Council for the Arts, Halifax Public Libraries recently invited author Andrew Westoll to read at the Spring Garden Road Library.

Andrew Westoll is the author The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: a Canadian story of resilience and recovery (M) and the winner of the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction.

Andrew Westoll spent months at Fauna Sanctuary, a refuge for thirteen chimps rescued from a research lab, as a volunteer caregiver. In The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, Westoll vividly recounts his adventures in the chimp house and the heart-wrenching histories of its residents. He arrives with dreams of striking up an immediate friendship with the legendary Tom, a father figure to the rest of the chimps. Tom proves the greatest teacher to the indomitable Gloria Grow, who presides over the sanctuary. Through Westoll’s eyes, we witness the chimps’ remarkable recovery first-hand. Simple things like establishing friendships, nurturing alliances, grooming one another and playing games of tickle-chase are all poignant testament to the capacity of these animals to heal—and to learn how to be chimps again.

The reading was funny, touching and inspirational. I particularly enjoyed the opening story about Jane Goodall. Check it out for yourself:

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