About Waterfall Dance
Renowned English primatologist Emily Bennett carries purpose in the palm of her hand, whereas pretty boy defense lawyer Will Thomas drags it like a scrap of toilet paper stuck to his shoe. The chimpanzee communication project known as Simian Says, founded by Emily, has taught sign language to generations of chimps. Now, by adopting ASL recognition and speech synthesis technology designed for communication-impaired humans, her project has given voice to a particularly charismatic chimp named Sparks. When Emily is arrested for the rescue of three experimental chimps from a Seattle lab, the stage is set for her prize pupil to testify. Will the aimless young lawyer's attraction to his ambitious client drive him to win her case, or interfere with her scheme? In the most sensational trial of the twenty-first century, comes the most anticipated witness in courtroom history. Hope is running out for our closest relative in evolution. To turn the tide, an animal must change what it means to be human.
The prospect of meaningful communication with a great ape is just around the corner—not the interpretation of body language and gestures, but plain English. Much of the technology is already here. The rest will soon arrive. What will they say? What would you ask? What does it change?
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"Waterfall Dance is an intricate balance of politics, romance, science, and courtroom drama. A deeply satisfying read, which gently unveils the main characters' humanity."
-- Steven Nyquist
This video from the Jane Goodall Institute is a spoiler for the book's title. For most readers, discovering the title's meaning is a gratifying experience. In the novel, you have to wait for it, which as avid readers know is all part of what Carly Simon so expressively sings in her famous song Anticipation.
Waterfall Displays from the Jane Goodall Institute on Vimeo.
Andrew Quinn is a writer and debut novelist. He resides in Minnesota with his wife Toni and a Border Collie named Amigo, who everyone suspects is smarter than most humans.
Waterfall Dance is the product of seven years of writing, research, editing, and rewriting. Nothing about it has been easy except the exhaust of liberation I sighed when the book finally came to print. For days I shuffled around with a thousand-yard stare on my face, bewildered and disoriented but relieved that the thing was over. Good books are hard to write; great stories are even harder.
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