Primal Tears is the story of Sage, born to a young woman who has volunteered to be a surrogate mother for an endangered bonobo chimpanzee. The process goes awry, and Sage, a lovable youngster, is neither completely one species nor the other. When her existence becomes public knowledge, she needs all the best characteristics of both species to find a place for herself in our human-dominated world.
Book Info: Frog/North Atlantic Books, 2005, $13.95
“PRIMAL TEARS is a high-concept exciting adventure story.... I liked it. It is well written…. I am altogether impressed.”
“PRIMAL TEARS is primal storytelling, thoughtful and passionate. Kelpie Wilson wonderfully expands our definitions of human and family.”
"What a great book! I loved it, and found it to be totally enthralling. As I read, I felt drawn deeper and deeper into a primal sense of hope. Not a naive hope, not wishful thinking, but a hope arising out of a sense of the immensity of human evolution and the profundity of out interconnectedness with all of life. I hope everyone on our dear and endangered Earth reads this book."
"PRIMAL TEARS is a novel of tremendous power. Passionate and erotic, at times tenderly lyrical, it confronts head-on, without flinching, brutal environmental and feminist politics. Its protagonist, Sage, is unique, magical, and haunting."
"Kelpie Wilson’s PRIMAL TEARS has rounded, memorable characters, evocative descriptions, lively dialogue, an exciting plot, … and an understated, evenhanded wit that is very engaging. … It is a clear-eyed, courageous look at some of the most denied and neglected threats to the biosphere and the place of humans in it."
Primal Tears Reviews
What Are We? Kelpie Wilson's Primal Tears Offers One Response
"Not long after 9/11, I found I had a sudden intense hunger to know what was irreducibly human, to know exactly what we are, described with the precision, detail and accuracy of science. My archaeologist husband suggested lists of anthropology texts. My colleague, Truthout Environment Editor Kelpie Wilson, sent me to Steven Mithin's wonderful "After the Ice." But for all these books' inherent interest, I did not find any answers there. On vacation this summer, I reread Kelpie's intriguing first novel, "Primal Tears." While Wilson also does not offer "answers" to the what-is-a-human question, she takes her readers down a suggestive and intriguing line of inquiry."
-- Leslie Thatcher, Truthout
“This is a book that deals with serious issues and is unwavering in all of its explorations. Top-notch near-future ecological speculation”
-- John Joseph Adams, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
“Wilson's storytelling talent really shines in this first novel...the main character will feel like a good friend by the time you finish the book. And you'll finish it fast—she has written a real page-turner... In addition to raising some serious issues, she has permeated the book with spirit and hope, particularly in the person of the main character, Sage, whose sweetness is like hope itself.”
-- Karen Wood-Campbell, amazon.com reviewer
Anneli Rufus writes in the East Bay Express:
Bonobos are the beasts du jour. Social critics laud them for having so much sex, some of it bi, much of it face to face, and for being a female-dominant species whose males would rather boink than fight. It's not the boinking that matters most to Wilson. "The big news about bonobos is not the sex but their peacefulness. People crave peace and bonobos show us how one peaceful primate society is organized. Human aggression is destroying the planet. Bonobos are a brand-new story."
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