The Last Neanderthal - Claire Cameron
2 min read

The Last Neanderthal - Claire Cameron


  • 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalist
  • Winner of the 2018 Evergreen Award
  • National Bestseller
  • National Post Best Book of 2017
  • Sold internationally in 11 territories

From the author of The Bear, the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both

40,000 years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate.

But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself.

In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by their shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women’s lives.

Inspired by the recent discovery that many modern humans have inherited DNA from Neanderthals, acclaimed author Claire Cameron has penned a haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving novel that asks us to reconsider what it means to be human.

“A deeply sympathetic portrait of a Neanderthal girl struggling to survive some 40,000 years ago.”
―Alexandra Alter, The New York Times

“A powerful, warm and thought-provoking book, that artfully blends facts with fiction.”
— Yuval Noah Harari, New York Times bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

“Devoured it like Girl devoured the meat strips. Could not put it down.”
— Sheila Rogers @RogersShelagh

Neanderthals Were Women, To: An essay in the Lenny Letter by Claire Cameron

Selected Profiles and Interviews

2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

Neanderthals: They’re Just Like Us — a profile by Alexandra Alter in The New York Times

The Next Chapter, CBC – How Claire Cameron wrote a book set 40,000 years ago

JSTOR – The Novelist’s Risk: Researching The Last Neanderthal

The Globe and Mail – I’d want to try eating mammoth

Lenny Letter – Neanderthals Were Women, Too (essay by Claire Cameron)

A Word on Words - Interview with J.T. Ellison on Nashville Public Television

Life at the End of a Species: Interview with Nam Kiwanuka on The Agenda

More press, reviews, and interviews