Deni Béchard recently published Empty Hands, Open Arms: the Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral. He also authored Cures for Hunger, a memoir about growing up with his father who robbed banks. His novel, Vandal Love, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club’s summer reading list, and was translated into French, Arabic, and Russian. He has reported from India, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.


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During a month-long stay in the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I was surprised to hear a teenage boy tell me, “Someday I, too, will create my own nature reserve.” He was from a nearby village and had been speaking of his admiration for Albert Lokasola, the local leader […]

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