Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves
(W. W. Norton & Company) is a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals, beginning with Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff.
Her story and others like it—from dogs “adopting” the injuries of their companions, to rats helping fellow rats in distress, to elephants revisiting the bones of their loved ones—show that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. Frans de Waal opens our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected.
Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug and Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, is a professor of psychology at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark Molloy is the reviews editor at MAKE: A Literary Magazine.