David Quammen

The Chimp and the River
  • The Chimp and the River

  • The real story of AIDS - how it originated with a virus in a chimpanzee, jumped to one human and infected more than 60 million people - is very different from what most of us think we know.

    Recent research has revealed dark surprises and yielded a radically new scenario of how AIDS began and spread. Excerpted and adapted from Spillover, with a new introduction by the author, Quammen's hair-raising investigation tracks the virus from chimp population s in the jungles off the southeastern Cameroon to laboratories across the globe, as he unravels the mysteries of when, where and how such a consequential 'spillover' can happen.

    An audacious search for answers amid more than a century of data, The Chimp and the River tells the haunting tale of one of the most devastating pandemics of our time.

David Quammen is an author and journalist who travels widely to some of the remotest corners of the earth. He writes for a broad range of publications such as Harper’s, Esquire, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and is a Contributing Writer at National Geographic. His journalism has won him three National Magazine Awards, and he is the recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Quammen is the author of several acclaimed science and natural history titles, as well as a number of novels. His most recent book, Spillover, from which this book is largely extracted, is an exploration into how some of the world’s most deadly viruses crossed over from non-human animals into humans. Spillover won the Science and Society Book Prize, from the National Association of Science Writers in the United States, and the Society of Biology Book Award in the United Kingdom.