A Dark Place in the Jungle

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Algonquin Books, 1999 - Nature - 269 pages
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In A Dark Place in the Jungle, writer Linda Spalding travels to Borneo's threatened jungles on the trail of orangutan researcher Birute galdikas. What she finds is an unholy mix of foreign scientists, government workers, tourists, loggers, descendants of Dayak headhunters, Javanese gold miners, and half-tame orangutans.

Galdikas, along with Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. Formed the famed trio of "angels" Louis Leakey encouraged to study great apes in the wild In 1971, she went into the jungle to study orangutans and decades later emerged with a rundown empire crumbling around her. Along the way, as poachers and timber barons slaughtered orangutans by the hundreds, Galdikas evolved into Ibu, the great mother of orphan orangutans, blurring the line between ape and human, tourist and scientist, Eden and everything else. To the orangutans, this was perhaps the cruelest blow of all.

Spalding's quest takes her from the offices of Galdika's foundation in Los Angeles to the crocodile-infested Sekonyer River in Borneo, where she confronts the sad, corrupting failure of a woman trying desperately to mother a species to survival; the dangers and temptations of ecotourism; and the arrogance of the human inclination to alter the things we set out to save.

Here is a book that shows us no paradise is safe from the machinations of man, and no one immune to temptation.

  

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A dark place in the jungle

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Novelist Spalding (The Paper Wife, Ecco, 1996) describes how a suggestion from a publisher sent her off on an adventure, ostensively to discover the truth about a mysterious woman studying orangutans ... Read full review

Contents

II
1
III
17
IV
29
V
35
VI
44
VII
60
VIII
70
IX
85
XVII
154
XVIII
165
XIX
173
XX
181
XXI
187
XXII
199
XXIII
204
XXIV
222

X
91
XI
100
XII
106
XIII
121
XIV
129
XV
137
XVI
144
XXV
228
XXVI
239
XXVII
248
XXVIII
259
XXIX
267
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Linda Spalding is a Canadian novelist & editor of "Brick." She met Riska Orpa Sari, author of "Riska: Memories of a Dayak Girlhood," in Borneo while doing research for her acclaimed work of nonfiction, "A Dark Place in the Jungle.

Bibliographic information