Understory: a life with trees

Understory a life with trees A journey of staying on once place told through trees Each chapter of this nature writing memoir explores a particular species of tree layering description anecdote and natural history to tell the

  • Title: Understory: a life with trees
  • Author: Inga Simpson
  • ISBN: 9780733635960
  • Page: 333
  • Format: Paperback
  • A journey of staying on once place, told through trees.Each chapter of this nature writing 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 treechangA journey of staying on once place, told through trees.Each chapter of this nature writing 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 I see the world through trees Every window and doorway frames trunks, limbs, and leaves My light is their light, filtered green My air is their exhalation.

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      Published :2018-08-01T05:37:51+00:00

    1 thought on “Understory: a life with trees”

    1. Beautifully written memoir, capturing the hardships and joys of a life lived in sub-tropical semi-wildness. Simpson writes about nature as well as anyone, and here she also captures something heartbreaking and true about life. One of my favourites of the year so far.

    2. “Each year this brush box ent reaches closer to the glass, towards the map of Middle-earth beside me. He filters my light green. I imagine his closest limb stretching out, kinking down through the open window while my back is turned, and exploring my wooden desk - a distant relative, perhaps - searching for what it is I do all day, as slow-moving as a tree. I would like to place my fingers against his just for a moment, to hear what he would say, and to convey all that I feel.”Understory: A [...]

    3. It was pretty much a given that I would love this book, as it combines two of my favourite things: nature and rural living, with the writing life. Three things, if you add in that this memoir is about Inga Simpson’s time living in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, where I lived for a while, and still continue to live a short distance from its northern end.Simpson combines her love and exploration of nature and nature writing with the joys and disappointments of life in subtropical Q [...]

    4. Absolutely beautiful - a lot to take in, and I found I could read in small snatches because I wanted to think about what I'd read before moving to the next part. A wonderful way of weaving a life narrative into a nature narrative - I haven't quite read anything like this before.

    5. If you want to learn the language of trees, read this book - slowly, sensitively, openly - and allow yourself to be taken places beyond the superficial chatter of what we call 'civilisation', into the deep woods. An Australian Walden, Inga's forest home teaches us who we should be as people, helps us learn to live in the silences, grow back our interconnectedness to the land, and listen to the deep knowledge of the trees. And for those sceptics, the memoir is so authoritatively and meticulously [...]

    6. The attached photo of the cover of Inga Simpson’s latest book, Understory: A Life With Trees (Hachette Australia Books 2017), doesn’t really do justice to the actual cover, which features the veined leaf in a stunning coppery-gold that shines from the understated green background, reminiscent of the sudden pops of colour that burst randomly from forests and woods. And so it is with the story – a memoir – which provides unexpected jolts of emotion against a background of contemplation and [...]

    7. I wrote a review of this memoir not long after reading and it has disappeared. My recollections now are of an author trying to make sense of her life.The relationships, the new business, the loves, the jobs, the losses, the writing. Writing is a job where a person is paid to bare their soul, but often this is hidden in many other fictionalized stories. Having read all of Inga Simpson’s books I can see echoes of her life in her book creations. The book is divided into chapters on trees. As tree [...]

    8. My View:I am a fan of the Inga Simpson’s previous works - Nest and Where the Trees Were (I have yet to read Mr Wigg - a book which has garnered much praise). I now have a little understanding of where those narratives came from, yet I was surprised to discover the depth of passion that Inga Simpson has for the environment. I don’t think I have ever met anyone with such passionate views, with such determination, with such a strong bond with the landscape they live in, a landscape that has det [...]

    9. I came across Inga Simpson at Adelaide Writer's Week. My interest was piqued after listening to her read an excerpt from her novel Where The Trees Were. I fell in love with that novel, have now devoured Understory and certainly plan to make my way through her first two novels. Understory is the tale of Simpson's tree change from suburbia to a cottage in the forest and interweaves the stories of her life that shaped her path as a writer. Part of what I love about Understory was that I found Sim [...]

    10. I want to read this book more slowly to take it in, but can't stop! It will have to be a read again book. Inga has given me a new awareness of the trees in my life. The story is to me much more relatable than Peter Wohlleben's 'The Hidden Life of Trees', and although Inga's trees are less anthropomorphic I still feel closer to them. I feel there was more room in Inga's narrative for the European use of trees in the oppression of Queensland's aborigines, however I couldn't fault her for this, it [...]

    11. Accomplished nature writing. There have been, or are, only a few who have reached this standard in Australia. An ideal for presenting this writing genre would be an online format that better permitted visualisation of the various plants, especially trees, that are described.

    12. There are flashes of brilliant writing and there are some threads which don't quite fit. What started out as an exciting and interesting read exploring Australian flora and fauna, much like the forest, tended to shoot off in different directions. Personally I would have preferred if the author focused on one key thread rather than jump about but this book is a memoir and in life, as in nature, there are few straight lines or continuous narratives. Overall an enjoyable book indeed.

    13. I'm reviewing this for publication so can't say much but please know that I loved this book. I'll include a link to the review when it's out.

    14. A truly wonderful memoir. Simpson paints an evocative picture of a creative life lived amongst the trees but is also very honest about the difficulties and the cost (both in monetary and other terms) of doing so. I loved the structure of this, the balance between the informative and the personal is struck perfectly and the descriptive writing is just magical. I haven't read any of Simpson's fiction and I feel like I need to make that a priority now. A tremendously inspirational book that will st [...]

    15. I just love Inga Simpson’s writing. There’s something so mediative about it, so like slipping into somewhere warm and cosy where you can curl up and be carried off into a world you know very little about. Understory is a memoir of Simpson’s life amongst trees and a love letter to the Australian forest. I feel as if I’ve gained new appreciation and new insight for the forests I’ve loved since I was a child.

    16. A beautiful mixture of memoir and nature writing, Understory describes the author's move from urban life in Brisbane to the nearby hinterland. Here she does battle with the elements, the animals who share her cottage, developers and the local power company while falling in love with the trees and birds on her ten acres of uncleared bush. The descriptive writing is stunning and the author's struggle to live an alternative lifestyle made me want to both laugh and cry.

    17. How does one describe a book that is so beautifully written that it touches one soul, that brings joy and sadness, that makes us think about how we treat the natural world and each other, that makes us look at trees, really look at trees and how can we make a difference in our own lives. I read this book a few days ago and I still think about it and when I am out I look at the trees and smile.

    18. I've never read a book of this nature (pardon the pun) before and I will now seek out nature memoirs. The best gift it has given me is a profound interest in the trees I encounter every day. I've always liked and appreciated their presence, but now I see their life and harbour great curiosity about them.

    19. This is a beautiful memoir that asks you to read with the same patience as you would the forest itself. The mood of the book is reflective and grateful even in difficult times. She has obviously learnt a great deal about herself while living in her cottage and we can learn a great deal about life and nature from her too. I will reread this book as a reference whenever I come across the trees she talks about and I will try to appreciate them with the same awe and wonder that she has for them.

    20. Reading Inga Simpson's nature writing is an anecdote for my nature starved suburbanite self, almost as good as a weekend away camping in the bush.

    21. "The Forest Doesn't Lie or Let You Down. It is Only Ever Itself." says Inga Simpson in her latest book.This book has a special meaning for me. It brought back memories of my father who was a Plant Forestry Scientist. My father loved his job, he worked on evergreens such as pines, spruces, cedars, larches As soon as I walked he took me to botanical gardens, taught me all the Latin names of all the trees. I knew and still know and recognise various types of trees. I learned from my father that Euc [...]

    22. I think I may be in love with this book. Review to come.UPDATE: Find my review here: butterfly-elephant

    23. This book has changed my feeling for trees. It's a book I read slowly. Reading it is like enjoying a forest therapy. I bought another one to give to another friend as a gift.

    24. I adored this book. It is simply stunning. To read my full review on the Startsat60 website click here bit/2uMR7xI

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