"They’re apes and we’re apes.”

In order to write her latest novel, Ape House (available September 7), Sara Gruen–author of the bestselling novel Water for Elephants–studied linguistics and a system of lexigrams so that she could communicate directly with the bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. Gruen now considers them to be part of her extended family, and, according to the bonobos, the feeling is mutual.

“Four years ago, it would never have occurred to me that I would ever be able to say that I have great apes as personal friends, and now I can say that,” she said. “That’s just an amazing life change. I am aware of them all the time, and I want other people to be aware of them. It’s sort of an otherworld experience, and yet it’s not. They are of the same world. They’re apes and we’re apes.”

You can learn more about both bonobos and Sara Gruen in this short video about her new novel.

Magers & Quinn Booksellers is pleased to present an evening with Sara Gruen, reading from Ape House–7:30pm, Thursday, September 9, at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis (410 Oak Grove St, Minneapolis). Sara Gruen will read from Ape House; a Q&A and signing will follow. This will be her only Twin Cities appearance. Tickets for this reading are available at Magers & Quinn Booksellers (3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis). Tickets will be available August 1; they are $5.00 each, redeemable towards the purchase of Ape House.

Details are here.–David E