The Author of ‘The Overstory’ on What We Can Learn from Trees

Author: Ezra Klein (New York Times)
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The Author of ‘The Overstory’ on What We Can Learn from Trees

From the transcript of Ezra Klein’s podcast, “The Ezra Klein Show.”

Sometimes I finish these conversations, and I feel I’ve been given a gift. And this is one of them. This is really one of them. Richard Powers is the author of 13 novels, including, famously, “The Overstory,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. I loved “The Overstory.” I loved it. I’ve never walked through a forest the same way again. And a lot of people loved it. When I interviewed him earlier this year and asked for his three books, former President Barack Obama recommended “The Overstory.” And he said, quote, “it changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it.” Hell of an endorsement.

Powers has a new book out, “Bewilderment.” And I think “Overstory” and “Bewilderment” should be understood as a couplet. “The Overstory” is about the world beyond us — the slow, powerful life of the trees and the forests and the way all of that shapes us. You can also call it the outer story. And “Bewilderment,” by contrast, is the inner story.

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