They talk to the trees ... and the trees talk to each other

‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers is an enthralling account of how nature contributes to our wellbeing

12 July 2021 - 21:27 By Mila de Villiers

Thought that talking trees were strictly limited to Tolkien’s ents of Middle Earth? Think again. Richard Powers’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner The Overstory adds new meaning to arboreal sentience.

Combining the stories of nine strangers, each of whom attach significant meaning to trees (be it the speech-and-hearing impaired dendrologist, an artist of Norwegian descent who makes tree-related artwork, the air force loadmaster saved by a banyan tree, the daughter of Chinese immigrants who cherishes the mulberry bush in her garden, or the 1980s joller who dedicates her life to combating deforestation), Powers delivers a compelling account of how the natural world impacts Homo sapiens’ everyday life — and what its destruction will mean for the future of humanity...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.