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The Overstory: A Novel Paperback – Illustrated, 2 April 2019

4.4 out of 5 stars 9,783 ratings

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Product details

  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 512 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 039335668X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0393356687
  • Customer reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 9,783 ratings

Product description


"[Powers is] brilliant on the strange idea of `plant personhood[,]'... opening our eyes to the wondrous things just above our line of sight. Memorable chapters unfold... [with] many unforgettable images in a novel devoted to `reviving that dead metaphor at the heart of the word bewilderment.'" -- Sam Sacks - The Wall Street Journal "A big, ambitious epic.... Powers juggles the personal dramas of his far-flung cast with vigor and clarity. The human elements of the book-the arcs his characters follow over the decades from crusading passion to muddled regret and a sense of failure-are thoroughly compelling. So are the extra-human elements, thanks to the extraordinary imaginative flights of Powers's prose, which persuades you on the very first page that you're hearing the voices of trees as they chide our species." -- Michael Upchurch - The Boston Globe "Monumental... The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size.... A gigantic fable of genuine truths." -- Barbara Kingsolver - The New York Times Book Review "Powers is the rare American novelist writing in the grand realist tradition, daring to cast himself, in the critic Peter Brooks's term, as a `historian of contemporary society.' He has the courage and intellectual stamina to explore our most complex social questions with originality, nuance, and an innate skepticism about dogma. At a time when literary convention favors novelists who write narrowly about personal experience, Powers's ambit is refreshingly unfashionable, restoring to the form an authority it has shirked." -- Nathaniel Rich - The Atlantic "This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction.... Remarkable." -- Ron Charles - The Washington Post "The Overstory, a novel about trees and people who understand them, is the eco-epic of the year and perhaps the decade. Unlike the Lorax, who spoke for the trees, Richard Powers prefers to let them do their own talking." -- Leanne Shapton, judge for the Man Booker Prize "A towering achievement by a major writer." -- Robert MacFarlane "The best novels change the way you see. Richard Powers's The Overstory does this. Haunting." -- Geraldine Brooks "The Overstory is a visionary, accessible legend for the planet that owns us, its exaltation and its peril, a remarkable achievement by a great writer." -- Thomas McGuane "This book is beyond special.... It's a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and understand the world around us, at a moment when that is desperately needed." -- Bill McKibben

About the Author

Richard Powers is the author of twelve novels, most recently The Overstory. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has been a Pulitzer Prize and four-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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