Bettina Suleiman

Return to the Wild - Novel

(German title: Auswilderung)
ca. 266 pages
Bettina Suleiman
Foto: Bettina Suleiman
© Marie Dion

Bettina Suleiman was born in Dessau in 1978.

She studied Philosophy and wrote her phd thesis on the argument of self-defence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Suleiman also worked for several theatres and NGOs in Israel, where she now lives with her husband.

Return to the Wild is her first novel.

Rights available

Cryptic, entertaining, consciousness expanding – a literary discovery!


Free time? Sleep? No comment. Young, thirty-something Marina is living the dream of an entire generation of researchers. She and her mentor Griffin are working on a UN project worth millions that is to experiment with raising gorillas to be like human beings.

But should gorillas also have rights? And what would the consequences be? Marina drifts ever more into the world of her mentor, which is completely driven by grants and research funding. At the last moment, she agrees to negotiate – and manipulates the results.

On an island in the Red Sea the animals’ decision to return to the wild has been accelerating. The problem: the gorillas no longer want their freedom; some have become depressed; and soon there is even the first casualty. The UN is increasing its pressure. Her career, Griffin, everything is on the line. And Marina realizes that she is struggling much less for the freedom of the gorillas than for her very own.

Return to the Wild is a spirited literary debut, the likes of which have not been seen in a long time: a coming of age story in the age of conditioned egotism. A gripping portrait of our present: cryptic, entertaining, consciousness expanding.

A gorilla that wants to become a human for it knows nothing else.

A young evolutionary biologist who sabotages her life in order to find freedom.