Selected by the Washington Post as one of the best summer reads. 

Both an edifying read and an exhilarating one.
— The Economist
The result is an astute, impeccable page-turner readers will savor.
— Publisher's Weekly
Schulman is a swift, confident, engaging writer who wields her considerable research...with a nimble touch.
— Wall Street Journal
As the kids say, it’s a lot, but Schulman pulls it off beautifully.
— New York Magazine
In the second half you will be unable to look away from the page, hardly be able to draw a breath.
— Washington Post
Enthralling fiction
— Toronto Globe & Mail

On a remote research foundation outside of Kansas City, Dr. Francine Burk studies bonobos --the "pygmy chimpanzees" considered most similar to early humans.

A MacArthur Genius, Dr Burk is at the Foundation to escape public attention while she recovers from a recent surgery.  Working with her is David Stotts, an archeologist working to teach the bonobos how to carve stone knives.  Stotts wants to learn how early humans mastered this skill.

In their work, the researchers interact closely with the bonobos.  The line between the humans and bonobos begins to blur. 

Then one morning, a sudden event wipes away civilization.  In the aftermath, the humans and bonobos struggle to survive.

This superb literary novel defies categorization.  Well-researched and vividly written, readers will learn even as they flip the pages.  Schulman has once again created a spellbinding original novel that never loses sight of its humanity. 

The writer skillfully weaves fact with fiction.... She makes it worth the wait.
— Newsday, 4/16/2018

The Week selected Theory of Bastards as its novel of the week.

Beguiling, irreverent, and full of heart.
— Kirkus Starred Review
This large story gradually and deeply takes a firm grip on the heart.
— The Longest Chapter, WOSU, NPR
I can’t recommend it highly enough. The last half, I stopped watching all the TV shows I watch just to tear through it.
— Political Gabfest Podcast
A thrilling, take-no-prisoners writing style saturated with serious science writing.
— Three Guys, One Book
This is a sexy, provocative, and highly-original novel about people who study apes and what happens when the power goes down.
— Dale Peterson, author of "Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man"
An astonishing work of major talent. Schulman weaves such believable characters into the bonobos that she blurs the lines between fact and fiction. A Theory of Bastards is unsettling and prophetic. A thriller and a romance. It deserves to be a classic.
— Vanessa Woods, Author of "Bonobo Handshake"