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Michelle Tessler
Mar 18, 2024
In Share Your Memory
I worked as Frans' literary agent for 24 years and represented multiple New York Times' and internationally bestselling books he authored. It was a true honor. He was a giant in his field, a brilliant man who inspired us through his work as a primatologist, instilling faith in our better natures. And he embodied all the traits he lifted up, with his sharp intelligence and empathy and compassion.  He also had a wonderful sense of humor. I am happy one more book is still forthcoming, which describes the revolution in science Frans was squarely part of (so in some respects is a professional autobiography). Frans was a fascinating storyteller and witty to boot. When I first read his work, I thought: I want to be a primatologist as a backup career. His work was so interesting to learn about and his writing about animals felt, again and again, like reading a wonderful and immersive ethnography. On a personal note, I admired Frans not only because he was legendary and respected but because he was also modest and kind. He was generous and supportive of colleagues, and I am lucky to work with many he mentored. He so loved his wife, Catherine Marin,   to whom he dedicated book after book (his "favorite primate"). Just a wonderful, wonderful human who changed many lives. A memory I am so grateful for was the opportunity to visit Frans and Catherine in their second home in Utrecht and enjoy brunch with them and my own family. It was special indeed to share personal moments beyond just professional ones. I will miss Frans very much.

Michelle Tessler

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