16

FRIDAY

Forty years after alighting in southern Madagascar, primatologist Alison Jolly is still coming to grips with the Berenty Reserve’s remarkably peculiar ecosystem. And the six species of lemurs aren’t even half of it. In Lords and Lemurs, Jolly steps back from her academic studies of primate behavior to tell the story of the spear-carrying Tandroy tribesmen who live in Madagascar’s desert and the French colonialists “who never quite noticed the French revolution.” Jolly’s story is part history, part anthropology, part biography, with her own experiences intermingled with the life story of plantation boss Jean de Heaulme, who came to Madagascar in a Harley sidecar when he was 6 months old. Jolly’s conclusion that the noblesse oblige of the Frenchmen has preserved both the Tandroy way of life and the lemurs’ patch of heaven seems overly sanguine. But perhaps this small piece of land is even more peculiar than it seems. Jolly speaks at 7 p.m. at the National Zoo’s Visitor Center, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 673-4801. (Josh Levin)