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“The Overstory is a difficult novel to encapsulate in a sentence or two. It is an epic novel of interconnected stories that all revolve in one way or another to trees and our kinship with the natural world. I listened to this over a few months and found it captivating, especially the sections of the stories that deal with the non-violent direct action to protect the old growth trees of the Pacific Northwest and the rise of the Earth Liberation Front. Those watching the developments around the protests against the logging of old growth forests at Fairy Creek or interested in the emerging science around forest ecology and communication among trees, will find much food for thought in this beautiful novel.”Peter,
Turning the Tide Bookstore
“Do you love trees? Probably not as much as Richard Powers does! This books weaves together the converging stories of nine characters, but they really function as a means to probe the perspective of the trees themselves. With lyrical prose and amazing stories of naturalist history, this is an epic of environmental literature.”David,
A monumental novel about reimagining our place in the living world, by one of our most "prodigiously talented" novelists (New York Times Book Review). The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing-and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by trees, are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours-vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.