credit: Samantha Francis

Andrew Westoll is an award-winning author and professor based in Toronto. A former primatologist-in-training, Andrew traded the real jungle for the concrete one a long time ago, but his experiences with wild animals still inform his work. Most of his writing explores our fraught, ever-evolving relationship with the natural world.

Andrew's first book, The Riverbones, is a travelogue set in the remote jungles of Suriname, where he once spent a year studying wild capuchin monkeys. His second book, the national-bestselling The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, is the biography of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a research laboratory and retired to an animal sanctuary near Montreal.

The Chimps won the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, was a finalist for several other major book awards, was twice long-listed for Canada Reads, and was named a Book of the Year by the Globe and Mail,, Quill and Quire and CTV's Canada AM.

Andrew's third book was his debut novel, The Jungle South of the Mountain, which tells the story of Stanley, a lonely primatologist whose monkeys mysteriously go missing. Yann Martel called The Jungle “a riveting story of loss and redemption in the jungles of South America.” Andrew’s fourth book, The Zoo and You, is forthcoming from Doubleday Canada in 2022.

Andrew is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, of Creative Writing and English at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), where in 2019 he won the annual UTSC Teaching Award, which recognizes sustained teaching excellence. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, and his feature writing appears in premier venues in Canada and around the world. His books have been published in the USA, UK, Australia and Poland, and his work has been anthologized in Cabin Fever: The Best New Canadian Non-Fiction.

Andrew, circa 2000, taking a break from studying monkeys in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve.

Andrew, circa 2000, taking a break from studying monkeys in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve.