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 Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art

Critically acclaimed international bestseller


PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for history 2021

Finalist, Premio Galileo Award 2022

100 Notable Books of 2021, The New York Times

Book Of The Year 2021, Current Archaeology


One of 2020's Best Books: The Sunday Times, New Scientist, BBC Science Focus


Book of The Week, The Times

“If you read only one book about the Neanderthals, read this one”

“A superbly authoritative guided tour”

Book of the Day, The Guardian

"A combination of the scholarly and the writerly"

Yuval Harai, The New York Times

"A complete new story about Neanderthals... synthesizing thousands of academic studies into a single accessible narrative"

"Important reading for anyone interested in humanity"

The London Review of Books

"Kindred is a thrillingly full account of what we currently

know about the Neanderthals."

see below for full reviews

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Represented by: Patrick Walsh, PEW Literary

Kindred publicity:

UK -;

US - 


Book of the Day in The Guardian

"A combination of the scholarly and the writerly, combining dizzying amounts of information"

"An expert and enthusiastic character witness for Neanderthals and their way of life"

The London Review of Books

"Kindred is a thrillingly full account... Wragg Sykes' project is to write about Neanderthals as an end in themselves, not as a failed version of humanity"

Yuval Harari in The New York Times

"A complete new story about Neanderthals... synthesizing thousands of academic studies into a single accessible narrative"

"Important reading for anyone interested in humanity"


 Rave reviews &

Best Reviewed Science, Nature and Technology book of October 2020

The Times

“Rebecca Wragg-Sykes's fact-packed but highly readable book puts us right with a superbly authoritative guided tour of much new evidence... If you read only one book about the Neanderthals, read this one"

Wall Street Journal

"Intriguing...A bold & magnificent attempt to resurrect our Neanderthal kin"

"Like a conjurer channeling a reluctant genie [Wragg Sykes] generates a window into a strand of alternative human possibility"

New Scientist

"An exciting aspect of this book is the way it refreshes our ideas about our own place in hominin evolution."

"A fascinating picture of a field transformed almost beyond recognition over the past 30 years."


“Deeply researched twenty-first century portrait of the Neanderthals” 

“Vivid, immersive… Smashes stereotypes"

"“A quarter of the way through, I was longing to meet a Neanderthal.” 

The Spectator

"Wragg Sykes has performed something extraordinary in distilling [new data] into a commanding & wonderfully readable account"

"Evocations emerge from extensive science... Surprisingly moving"


"Impressive scope... Beautifully detailed" "Evaluates the available evidence on Neanderthals with empathy and even-handedness"

"A nuanced portrait...Brings something new to this discussion"

New York Review Of Books

"Kindred... is a dense work, packed with information and interpretations that strongly challenge earlier conceptions of Neanderthals. "



"Mind-expanding popular science" "Splendidly engaging prose... Startlingly fresh"

"More than any other book in paleoanthropology I've read, Wragg Sykes convincingly blows up simplistic views".

American Antiquity

"hugely impressive blend of engaging writing and academic detail" "a comprehensive, twenty-first-century view... impressively up-to-date"

"a distinctively, beautifully written tribute to the realities of Neanderthals"

Current Archaeology

"A fascinating family reunion"

"Wide-ranging... full of scientific detail but with a lightness of touch"

"Wragg Sykes writes with an evocative turn of phrase, deftly conjuring scenes"

British Archaeology

"Effortlessly marshalling a huge amount of evidence... [in] writing Kindred, Rebecca Wragg Sykes could be said to have found the Neanderthals."

"An outstanding first book. Archaeology has found a new story teller."

American Anthropologist

"... a beautiful, serious, and moving book... a well-researched, thoroughly cited, and scientifically accurate engagement with... the humans we call 'Neanderthals' "

"Kindred is good anthropology, good storytelling, and good science"

Prehistoric Society

"Kindred is a genuinely fantastic piece of scholarship and a master class in popular science communication.... undeniably authoritative, yet engagingly accessible."

"...a writer who knows Neanderthals inside out... Kindred manages to effortlessly cater to the complete novice and the expert audience (and everyone in between)"


"[Wragg Sykes] knows the field, in all its burgeoning complexity"

"...sums up the case for Neanderthals' relative sophistication on the basis of considerable evidence from archaeology and related disciplines"


"Fresh... Compelling"

"Wragg Sykes uses the breadcrumbs of archeological discoveries to persuasively hypothesize... about the life and times of Neanderthals"

Bradshaw Foundation

"Kindred is beautifully written, it's convincing, and it's full of surprises."

"It employs the very latest science... Most importantly, it presents a fascinating story not just of Neanderthals but of ourselves"


"Breathtaking in scope and beautifully written, Kindred establishes itself as the go-to popular work for a nuanced and current picture of Neanderthals." "Fascinating, accessible, and terribly exciting"


WINNER: PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize 2021

Book of the Year, 2021 Current Archaeology

100 Notable Books of 2021, The New York Times

One of 2020's best books:

The Times and Sunday Times

New Scientist

BBC Science Focus


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