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Woman in the Mists [Paperback]

Farley Mowat
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 1988
Deep in the volcano country of central Africa live some of the rarest, most intriguing animals on earth -- the mountain gorillas. Here, in the mist-shrouded forests, Dian Fossey courageously dedicated her life to studying them. Here she patiently waited until the luminous-eyed gorillas accepted her presence, hugged her, and loved her...while she fought for their survival against poachers, callous researchers, zoo collectors, and local bureaucrats. And here, surrounded by these enemies, she died, mysteriously and brutally murdered.

Now, one of the world's most respected naturalist writers draws for the first time ever on Dian Fossey's personal writings to reveal the true story of a magnificent obsession...one woman's enormous empathy for a highly intelligent, desperately endangered animal -- and how it ruled her life, her work, and her heart.

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From Publishers Weekly

Mowat, author of Never Cry Wolf and Sea of Slaughter, had access to Fossey's private papers; he has used excerpts from her diaries, amplifying the material with interviews from people who knew her wellfriends, enemies, colleagues, lovers. It is a gripping story from beginning to gruesome end, filled with drama, intrigue and love affairs. Fossey was an attractive, intelligent, determined woman; she was duped by some of the men in her life and, in the end, victim of ugly rumors and lies. Mowat redresses the record and offers a new theory about her murder in Africa in 1985. He believes that the two-year extension of her visa was Fossey's death warrant, that she had become a threat to Rwandans who wanted to exploit parkland for tourismnot a poacher, but a hired assassin killed Fossey. Her mercurial personality alone gives the book a wider audience than most in the nature-adventure genreand it is fitting that such a passionate defender of wildlife as Mowat write about her. Illustrations.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The murder of Dian Fossey at her research camp in Rwanda focused world attention on her 19 years of struggle to study and preserve the mountain gorilla. Mowat ( Never Cry Wolf ) has, as intended, organized Fossey's journals into a biography that quotes her writings so heavily as to be autobiographical. Much of the text parallels material in Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist ( LJ 5/15/83) but provides additional insights into her personal life, difficulties in maintaining funding, and the continuation of her work up to her death in 1985. This gripping, action-packed story is essential reading for all who understand the sacrifice of self for the preservation of other species. Highly recommended. Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Neither destiny nor fate took me to Africa. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sympathetic portrait of a complicated woman Oct. 12 2000
By A Customer
Another engrossing and fascinating Mowat title, another Mowat "must read", "Woman in the Mists" is the sympathetic biography of a woman whose work gave us a window into the world of the mountain gorilla, a species to whose protection and conservation she was devoted. By alternating excerpts from her diary entries and personal letters with his own descriptive text, Mowat brings Dian Fossey, a powerfully willed and often abrasive woman, to life. Her youthful years, young adulthood, her fateful meeting with Louis Leakey, her romantic involvements and disappointments, her first contacts with the gorillas and the years of her work and struggle are portrayed with humanity and affection. The tale is enormously enriched by her own words. She struggled indomitably against self-serving African bureaucrats, indigenous herdsmen and hunter-gatherers, antagonistic forces that gained strength against her in the fields of primatology and philanthropy, and her own gradually deteriorating health largely the result of a powerful smoking addiction.
But her work and her happiness were plagued by male academics and agents of philanthropic organizations who got caught up in a web of calumny and distrust motivated by primatologists who were seriously bent out of shape by her abrasiveness and who felt they could avenge themselves by vilifying her, possibly abetted by society's undercurrent of misogyny. Had there been no vilification, she may never have been killed, as her fatal enemy, probably an African, no doubt took strength from knowing how much she was hated by, for example, the American and European agents of the Mountain Gorilla Project.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful written book Aug. 31 2000
By Brandy
Farley Mowat performed an excellent service when he wrote this book. Dian Fossey was a woman of great character, confidence, courage, determination, and conviction. Her life was lived for what she found to be a greater cause and the world is that much worse off without her. This book did an excellent job of showing the reader who Dian Fossey really was and what she really went through. I recommend it to anyone. It is well worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with this book! April 17 2000
Read this book, and you will feel like you know the real Dian Fossey. Personal letters, journal entries all give insight to her life as a living, breathing human being who had many friends (human and non-human). Her passion for life is inspirational! This is a must read, and also an excellent book to read for school projects!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book protrayed Dian Fossey as a human being. Oct. 20 1998
I liked Woman in the Mists very much. Mowat does a great job of protraying Fossey as a human, rather then a scientific researcher who was murdered. I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to read about a strong willed individual who refuses to back down under any and all hard conditions
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