Waiting on Wednesday: Understory

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked Understory: A Life With Trees by Inga Simpson.

A memoir about staying in one place, told through trees, by the award-winning author of Mr Wigg, Nest and Where The Trees Were. 

 The understorey is where I live, alongside these plants and creatures. I tend the forest, stand at the foot of trees and look up, gather what has fallen. 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 tree-change, 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 hit, and losing just about everything when it did. It is also the story of what the author found there: the literature of nature and her own path as a writer. Understory is about connection to place as a white settler descendant, and the search for a language appropriate to describe that experience.

I've heard amazing things about Where the Trees Were (which I'll definitely be reading just before this one), and I'm always fascinated to read about how authors reflect on a sense of place in their work - especially when it revolves around nature. Upstream by Mary Oliver is another book with a similar theme which I'm also hoping to pick up. I don't normally read a lot of non-fiction but I'm definitely looking forward to branching out into it!

Releasing 30th May 2017 from Hachette

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