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RI Archives: Arts

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Literacy Network


[See more Arts: Book articles]

One Chimp’s Life: A Gripping Tale

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You don’t have to be an animal lover like the East Chatham author Elizabeth Hess to find her new book, Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human absorbing.  You don’t even have to care much about the merits of the scientific experiment that brought Nim to live in the townhouse of a wealthy and eccentric Upper West Side family when he was just a few days old.  To find this page-turner riveting, all you need is a moral compass.  Hess’s real subject is the power of language, and its impact on the fate of men and beasts.  Her book raises questions about our obligation to a creature who is able to communicate his desires through American sign language, who shows every evidence of having a sense of humor and being able to feel remorse—our obligation to him and, by extension, all of his kind.  On Saturday, March 8, Hess and the novelist, playwright, and Rutgers University professor emeritus Wesley Brown will engage in a question & answer session that will explore these and other topics touched on in her book.

An Evening with Elizabeth Hess, Spencertown Academy, 790 Route 203, Spencertown; 5:30 pm Saturday, March 8; for reservations, 518-392-3692

Nim Chimpsky, The Chimp Who Would Be Human, Bantam Books Hardcover.  Available now at the Chatham Bookstore and other independent booksellers.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 03/04/08 at 06:04 AM • Permalink