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Picturing a World

Powerful Overstory

Usually my blog posts begin as reactions to images, but picturing worlds in fiction depends solely on words. In The Overstory, Richard Powers deploys his gifts and well-honed skills to carry us to the top of the trees, weave us through American society, and plunge us into the deepest ethical issue of our present world. His narration contains no experimental prose or unconventional techniques, but his imagination is profound. By the time I finished reading the novel, even the word story had multiple new resonances for me; and I had experienced incidents, landscapes, and personalities vividly. I was shaken and exhilarated.

If you loved The Hidden Life of Trees, it’s time to explore the meaning of the ways trees communicate and sustain each other in Powers’ expansive, wide-ranging, engrossing exploration of how we humans are implicated in their story. If you have read neither, read both!

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