Understory

Understory

A Life With Trees

Book - 2017
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Each chapter of this absorbing memoir explores a particular species of tree, layering description, anecdote, and natural history to tell the story of a scrap of forest in the Sunshine Coast hinterland - how the author came to be there and the ways it has shaped her life. In many ways, it's the story of a treechange, of escaping suburban Brisbane for a cottage on ten acres in search of a quiet life. Of establishing a writers retreat shortly before the Global Financial Crisis, and losing just about everything. It is also the story of what the author found there: the literature of nature and her own path as a writer. Some of the nature writing that has been part of this journey is woven through the narrative arc. The Language of Trees is about connection to place as a white settler descendent, and trying to reconcile where the author grew up with where the author is now. It is her story of learning to be at home among trees, and the search for a language appropriate to describe that experience. That journey leads Inga to nature writing, to an environmental consciousness, to regenerating this place and, ultimately, to learning Gubbi Gubbi and Wiradjuri.
Publisher: Sydney, N.S.W., Hachette Australia,, 2017.
ISBN: 9780733635960
Characteristics: xv, 284 pages : 1 portrait ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Under story

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wendybradley
Sep 11, 2017

Inga Simpson lived among the trees in the Sunshine hinterland. This is exploration of a place she loved deeply, and a place she was about to leave. Each chapter explore a different tree and uncovers something of her life. Pain is clearly present, equal to the love of the forest around her. It follows a decade of her life with dreams of a writers retreat she and her partner set up only to lose as a response to the global financial crisis. Alone she attempts to find away to hold on to the sanctuary of trees and if it was fiction then I am sure a way would have been found for this ending, but as it is real life, there is not happy ending to these years.

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