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City of Trees

Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest

Sophie Cunningham



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Text Publishing Company
03 March 2020
How do we take in the beauty of our planet while processing the losses? What trees can survive in the city? Which animals can survive in the wild? How do any of us-humans, animals, trees-find a forest we can call home?

In these moving, thought-provoking essays Sophie Cunningham considers the meaning of trees and our love of them. She chronicles the deaths of both her fathers, and the survival of P-22, a mountain lion in Griffith Park, Los Angeles; contemplates the loneliness of Ranee, the first elephant in Australia; celebrates the iconic eucalyptus and explores its international status as an invasive species.

City of Trees is a powerful collection of nature, travel and memoir writing set in the context of global climate change. It meanders through, circles around and sometimes faces head on the most pressing issues of the day. It never loses sight of the trees.
By:   Sophie Cunningham
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   296g
ISBN:   9781922268846
ISBN 10:   1922268844
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   03 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sophie Cunningham worked in publishing for fifteen years. She now works as a writer and journalist and has been a television columnist for The Age since July 2002. Her first novel, Geography, was published in 2004 by The Text Publishing Company.

Reviews for City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest

'Amazing...Cunningham's walking essays perform a new kind of way-finding - they seek to reconstitute our relation to place by unthinking, unlearning, unwriting, in the hope that the self, too, might change under the influence of trees, and in their company.' * Lifted Brow * 'City of Trees is a deeply ethical and thoughtful call to consciousness, a call to see and feel being in and of the natural world.' * Sydney Review of Books * 'Sophie Cunningham offers a very personal tour...with thoughtful analyses and a relaxed wit.' * Adelaide Review * '[T]he beauty of these essays is the way in which we are transported to the presence of each individual tree under examination. Time slows down for the small observations.' * Australian * '[Cunningham's] naif, free-form style, is a perfect foil for the stories-within-stories-within stories that lie at the heart of this important, entertaining and moving book.' * Age * 'I came to see each essay in this book like a long walk with a destination in mind, but with many fascinating detours and asides to make along the way. ... I found City of Trees almost addictive. ... Reading this book was like taking a bracing walk with a stimulating conversationalist, but if you embark on this walk prepare to be patient - your companion will pause often to snap photos of the trees.' * Good Reading * 'City of Trees is a sorrowful meditation on the effects of climate change and time, but it is also full of wonder, of hope.' * Kill Your Darlings * '...these fine essays convey what factual reporting on the threat of climate change and the loss of habitat cannot: something beautiful is dying, something precious and monumental may be lost forever. ... Cunningham's essays are accounts of her intimate encounters with trees, her gift is in making them feel like they are our stories as well.' * Australian Book Review * 'In this poignant and timely collection of essays, Sophie Cunningham touches on matters private and political, historical and current, beautiful and terrifying.' * Books + Publishing * '[The] ability to hold and make space for opposing concepts is where the strength and beauty of [Cunningham's] writing lies...City of Trees is a breath of fresh air accompanied by the knowledge of how much is lost, or is being lost...Through these essays one can find the hope and understanding to live and thrive in these dark times.' * Readings Monthly *

  • Long-listed for NIB Waverley Literary Award 2019 (Australia)

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