Now in paperback from Pegasus Books

John  Fowler

A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS

My Year Among the Mountain Gorillas
in the Remote Enclave of Dian Fossey
Paperbacks and first editions available.
Postcard Cover lg 1MB warm.jpg
 

“An important historical document of that period—the writing is so excellent and descriptions so detailed that reading the book is a great pleasure.”

—George Schaller, author of The Mountain Gorilla: Ecology and Behavior and The Year of the Gorilla   

"Fowler’s refreshing honesty and affection for the gorillas runs through every page of this book."

—Elizabeth Hess, author of Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human

About the Book

For the first time, a riveting insider's account of the fascinating world of Dian Fossey’s mountain gorilla research camp, telling the often-shocking story of the unraveling of Fossey’s Rwandan facility alongside adventures tracking mountain gorillas over hostile terrain, confronting aggressive silverbacks, and rehabilitating an orphaned baby gorilla.

In A Forest in the Clouds, John Fowler takes us into the world of Karisoke Research Center, the remote mountain gorilla camp of Dr. Dian Fossey, a few years prior to her gruesome murder. Drawn to the adventure and promise of learning the science of studying mountain gorillas amid the beauty of Central Africa’s cloud forest, Fowler soon learns the cold harsh realities of life inside Fossey’s enclave ten thousand feet up in the Virunga Volcanoes.

Amid the turmoil, Fowler must abandon his own research assignments to assuage the troubled Fossey as she orders him on illegal treks across the border into Zaire, over volcanoes, in search of missing gorillas, and to serve as surrogate parent to an orphaned baby ape in preparation for its traumatic re-introduction into a wild gorilla group.

Instead of the intrepid scientist he had admired in the pages of National Geographic, Fowler finds a chain-smoking, hard-drinking woman bullying her staff into submission. While pressures mount from powers beyond Karisoke in an effort to extricate Fossey from her domain of thirteen years, she brings new students in to serve her most pressing need―to hang on to the remote research camp that has become her mountain home. Increasingly bizarre behavior has targeted Fossey for extrication by an ever-growing group of detractors―from conservation and research organizations to the Rwandan government.

A Forest in the Clouds takes the armchair adventurer on a journey into an extraordinary world that now only exists in the memories of the very few who knew it.

Images from the cloud forest

Pablo and Me

Icarus of Group 5

Dian with Gorilla Orphan

 
 
praise for
A Forest in the clouds
 

"Finally a detailed account on Dian Fossey, the savior of the mountain gorillas who was murdered in l985 at the Karisoke Research Center. It must have been hard for Fowler to relive the abuse he was subjected to by this damaged woman, but I’m glad he has left us such a full record of his time in the magical Virungas."

—Alex Shoumatoff, author of The Wasting of Borneo

"John Fowler is a born storyteller."

—JANE GOODALL

"Prepare to climb with him high up into the forest as you experience fear, exhaustion, rain-drenched chill, and, finally, the supreme thrill of proximity with the awe-inspiring mountain gorillas. It was her love for them, and her fight to save them, that finally alienated Dian Fossey from human society. Unpredictable, tormented, and embittered, she now casts a dark shadow over this remote world."

—Jane Goodall

Events

All Events

  • Interview with John Fowler by BJ @ But(T) the Podcast
    Interview with John Fowler by BJ @ But(T) the Podcast
    https://anchor.fm/buttthepodcast/episodes/G
    Apr 22, 2020, 11:00 AM – Oct 01, 2026, 11:05 AM
    https://anchor.fm/buttthepodcast/episodes/G
    An interview with author, John Fowler, about gorillas, Rwanda, Dian Fossey and literary messages: https://anchor.fm/buttthepodcast/episodes/Gorilla-on-his-back--Now-its-a-book-ebjp2u/a-a1npibd
  • Grand Opening of Bisate Kwanda, featuring photos from A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS
    Grand Opening of Bisate Kwanda, featuring photos from A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS
    Ruhengeri
    Jun 01, 8:00 AM
    Ruhengeri, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
    After working closely with Wilderness Safaris during the pandemic, selecting photos and writing captions, the new Bisate Day Lounge (Bisate Kwanda) will be opening with a permanent exhibit of my photos of the locals who were such a big part of the early days of gorilla research and preservation.
  • Explorer's Club - Florida Chapter - Visiting Explorer Program with John Fowler
    Explorer's Club - Florida Chapter - Visiting Explorer Program with John Fowler
    Orlando
    Apr 17, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
    Orlando, 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
    John Fowler, author of A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS: MY YEAR AMONG THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE REMOTE ENCLAVE OF DIAN FOSSEY will talk about the original Karisoke Research Center of the mysterious and controversial Dian Fossey- who he knew quite well. Books available for sale and signing.
  • Westminster Oaks LifeLong Learning Event - A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS
    Westminster Oaks LifeLong Learning Event - A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS
    Maguire Center, at Westminster Oaks
    Apr 02, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    Maguire Center, at Westminster Oaks, 4449 Meandering Way, Tallahassee, FL 32308, USA
    Author Speaking Engagement and Book Signing - A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS: MY YEAR AMONG THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE REMOTE ENCLAVE OF DIAN FOSSEY
  • Life Long Learning at NE Tallahassee Public Library - From Zoologist to Author with John Fowler
    Life Long Learning at NE Tallahassee Public Library - From Zoologist to Author with John Fowler
    5513 Thomasville Rd
    Mar 02, 2020, 7:00 PM
    5513 Thomasville Rd, 5513 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32312, USA
    From the moment he set foot in Dian Fossey’s mountain gorilla research camp as a young undergraduate, John Fowler knew that the unexpected realities of Karisoke was worthy of a book, but learning to write prose worthy of a memoir and getting it published would take Fowler into yet another adventure.
  • FSU Great Apes Course - Guest Lecturer
    FSU Great Apes Course - Guest Lecturer
    University Way
    Nov 15, 2019, 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    University Way, University Way, Tallahassee, FL 32304, USA
    The Florida State University Anthropology Department will be hosting Guest Lecturer, John Fowler for their Great Apes Course taught by Elizabeth Peters. Attendance is exclusively for FSU Great Apes Course students only.
  • Fascinate Pod - Podcast with Sam Brown: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/fascinate-pod/e/62115917
    Fascinate Pod - Podcast with Sam Brown: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/fascinate-pod/e/62115917
    https://www.radio.com/podcasts/fascinate-po
    Nov 04, 2019, 5:00 PM
    https://www.radio.com/podcasts/fascinate-po
    Many people are doing great things: scientific research, exploring ideas, inspiring people and taking action. Sam Brown is on a quest to speak to as many people as he can who are out make a difference. A positive minded podcast for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the world.
  • Author Speaking Engagement and Book Signing
    Author Speaking Engagement and Book Signing
    Tallahassee Armory
    Sep 27, 2019, 11:30 AM
    Tallahassee Armory, 1400 N Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303, USA
    Lifelong Learning Extravaganza - End of Season Luncheon Author Speaking Engagement and Book Signing
  • Explorers Club Visiting Explorer Program with John Fowler
    Explorers Club Visiting Explorer Program with John Fowler
    Explorers Club
    Sep 17, 2019, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
    Explorers Club, 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021, USA
    About this Event John Fowler, author of "A Forest in the Clouds: A Year Among the Mountain Gorillas in the Remote Enclave of Dian Fossey," will talk about the original Karisoke Research Center of the mysterious and controversial Dian Fossey- who he knew quite well. Books available via Books On Call.
  • Midtown Reader: An Evening with the Author
    Midtown Reader: An Evening with the Author
    1123 Thomasville Rd
    Mar 09, 2019, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
    1123 Thomasville Rd, 1123 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32303, USA
    An Evening with the author, John Fowler, moderated by noted editor, Ann VanderMeer.
  • Book Signing & Dinner
    Book Signing & Dinner
    Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
    May 03, 2018, 7:00 PM
    Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy, Downtown, FL 32218, USA
    Book Signing & Dinner with Benefactors
  • UNO Lecture & Book Signing
    UNO Lecture & Book Signing
    Biology Building
    Apr 26, 2018, 7:00 PM
    Biology Building, Biology Bldg, 2000 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA
    Lecture and Book Event
  • Interview with John Fugelsang on Tell Me Everything - Sirius XM Radio
    Interview with John Fugelsang on Tell Me Everything - Sirius XM Radio
    Sirius XM Insight, Channel 121
    Feb 20, 2018, 3:00 PM
    Sirius XM Insight, Channel 121
    "Tell Me Everything" Sirius XM Radio Channel 121
  • #1 New Release in:  Biology of Apes and Monkeys
    #1 New Release in: Biology of Apes and Monkeys
    Location TBD
    Jan 09, 2018, 3:30 PM
    Location TBD
  • Interview with Jen Forbus for Shelf Awareness
    Interview with Jen Forbus for Shelf Awareness
    Location TBD
    Jan 02, 2018, 8:00 AM
    Location TBD
    Interview with Jen Forbus for Shelf Awareness: www.shelf-awareness.com
  • Q&A with Nigel Jones for The Hoopoe - a blog by NHBS
    Q&A with Nigel Jones for The Hoopoe - a blog by NHBS
    Location TBD
    Jan 01, 2018, 7:00 PM
    Location TBD
    Q&A with Nigel Jones, Managing Director of NHBS (Natural History Book Service/UK) for their online Newsletter, The Hoopoe: https://blog.nhbs.com