A Beautiful Truth | Granta

  • Published: 01/05/2014
  • ISBN: 9781847088505
  • 129x20mm
  • 386 pages

A Beautiful Truth

Colin McAdam

Walt and Judy’s happiness has been blighted by their childlessness; although their marriage seems blissful, Judy feels increasingly empty and Walt longs to make her happy again. So one day he brings home Looee – a baby chimpanzee. Looee, exuberant and demanding, immediately fills the gap in Walt and Judy’s life, and they come to love him as their own son. Like any child, Looee is affectionate and quick to learn, generous and engaging. But he is also a deeply unpredictable animal, and one night their unique family life is changed forever.
At the Girdish Institute, chimpanzees have been studied for decades to prove that they are political, altruistic, often angry but also capable of forgiveness. The chimps at the Institute travel a parallel path to Looee’s; they experience friendship, loss and rivalry, just as he does. When these two paths meet, startling truths are revealed about all great apes, captive and free, beloved or abandoned.

Told alternately from the perspective of humans and chimpanzees, A Beautiful Truth is a profound and gripping story about the things we hold sacred and the truths of nature we so often ignore.

Audacious and unsettling... McAdam's prose binds into a luminous, flashing reverie of primate existence... Remarkable

Lucien Robsinson, TLS

A vivid, impressionistic and often harrowing portrait of the relationship between people and chimps... Beautifully strange and thought-provoking; its truth is elusive as well as beautiful

David Evans, Independent on Sunday ****

McAdam has a poetic, impressionistic style and sense of humour, and the resulting fantasy is convincing and strangely melancholy

Globe and Mail

The Author

Colin McAdam has written for Harper’s and The Walrus. His debut novel Some Great Thing won the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book, and for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. His second novel, Fall, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and awarded the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize. His third novel A Beautiful Truth won the Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize 2013. He lives in Toronto.

More about the author →

Colin McAdam on Granta.com

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Norman Rush and Colin McAdam in Conversation

Colin McAdam & Norman Rush

‘Who should write memoirs? I have the not-entirely-serious and absurdly restrictive idea that only morally extraordinary people could write them honestly without much shame’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 126

Please Tim Tickle Lana

Colin McAdam

‘I no longer see human beings as I used to.’