Photo: Lake Kivu, Rwanda. Copyright 1996. Clea Koff 
International praise for The Bone Woman

"The beauty and significance of Koff's work and her drive to do it comes through most powerfully when she is crouching over a mass grave, untangling limbs, scraping through dirt from a corpse's clothes and finding, within, what most of us would see as horror, something human that speaks...Surprising, compelling, and worth reading."
- Washington Post-

"Koff knows that bones talk, and she simply lets the bones she exhumes give testimony...in descriptions free of sensationalism or sentimentality...[this] emotional distance gives The Bone Woman its pared down power...The Bone Woman deals with gruesome subjects, but it is not itself a gruesome book.  To its unpoetic vision of all those piles and piles of exhumed bones, Koff's book testifies to our humbling common humanity that the perpetrators of genocide would deny."
- Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio's "Fresh Air"

"Honest and effective...A must-read..."
Globe and Mail

"May be the ultimate memoir of the post-Cold War decade...It is the inherent tension
between the professionalism of Koff and her colleagues and the awful focus of their endeavours that make the book so compelling...This is a hugely important book."

- Telegraph (UK) 

"Chilling but mesmerizing...Koff's account is neither histrionic nor preachy; it's clear-eyed, hard-headed and straightforward...This books works so well, is so vivid and so moving, because Koff surrounds the dead bodies withliving stories."
- Bookpage

"...A compelling debut that is remarkable for exploring such a harrowing subject in a detached yet compassionate manner, striking a balance between scientific observation and human empathy."
- The Scotsman

"Die tiefe Humanität dieser Anti-Totengräberin ist in jedem Satz zu spüren und verleiht ihrer Arbeit ungeahnte Würde." [The deep humanity of this 'anti-gravedigger' can be felt in ever sentence, and gives her work unimagined dignity.]
- Die Welt

"Fascinating...The overriding impression is of a woman deeply committed to ideals of justice and human rights.  In consequence, and despite the extraordinary depravity of the crimes detailed in its pages, The Bone Woman is a humane, hopeful, and involving book."
- The Guardian

"This is a brave book, presented in a clear voice by a scientist who is confident that her missions will get to the truth and yet human enough to cry at the horror of it all."
- Library Journal

"[The Bone Woman] is an attempt to record and confront emotions that had to be kept at bay while more important business was at hand...There are only a handful of people who have seen and felt (and smelt) what the violence of the new world order has wrought, and she is one of them... Thomas Keneally wrote about the awkwardness of 'good' as a literary subject.  It is harder to make interesting than evil...but sometimes he concluded, you find yourself staring at good in the face and just have to recognise it.  So it is with The Bone Woman." 
The Times, London


"The writing is
so personal that the reader may feel voyeuristic as Koff writes of her haunting dreams, the feelings of futility as killings continue around her, and the need to assimiliate the objective nature of science with the subjectivity of human emotion."
- Globe and Mail

"[Koff] speaks eloquently for the dead in The Bone Woman, her poignant personal testimony about man's inhumanity to man."
- Reuters

"[
Koff is the] brave voice of the silent witnesses...That what [she] does is necessary and excellent is not in need of saying: it is impossible to reach the end of The Bone Woman without great admiration for her tenacity and stoicism."
- The Independent (London)

"Inevitably, Koff's chosen profession sets her apart but, if few of us would want to swap places with her, we can now understand better the absolute necessity of her mission."
- Canberra Times

"The Bone Woman is a welcome reminder that while the wheels of justice grind slowly, they grind fine."
- Telegraph (UK)

"Part science, part expose, part personal narrative, The Bone Woman offers a rare insight into both the role of a forensic anthropologist, and the role of the UN Tribunal's forensic team.  But is also gives new
meaning to conflicts and battles at places whose names were burned into international consciousness in the '90s."
- Perth Sunday Times

"
...ein eindrucksvolles Werk."  ["...an impressive work."]
- Esslinger Zeitung

"Koff's experiences are unique; she describes them in a style that thrills
readers to bursting point, and the places she guides her readers to are among the most soul-shaking in history."
- Auslandsinformationen

"...The most impressive book about politics that I read this year, Clea Koff's The Bone Woman: Among the Dead in Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Moving from one mass grave to the next, she uncovers what really happened."
- Clive James in the Times Literary Supplement


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