In THE SONGS OF TREES, award-winning nature writer David Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees around the world, exploring the trees' connections with webs of fungi, bacterial communities, cooperative and destructive animals, and other plants. In doing this he shows that every living being is not only sustained by biological connections, but is made from these relationships, and that holding a networked view of life enriches our understanding of biology, human nature, and ethics.
Interlude : mitsumata
Redwood and ponderosa pine
Interlude : maple
Japanese white pine.
"*Starred Review* Haskell (The Forest Unseen, 2012) traveled repeatedly to various destinations for this examination about the complex, natural relationships centered around trees. This finely tuned, highly literary investigation of specific arboreal ecosystems starts with a nod to the Homeric Greeks and ends with a reflection on the atom. Along the way, Haskell considers such plants as the balsam fir in Ontario, the Sabal palm in Georgia, the olive tree in Jerusalem, and the ceibo in Ecuador. Although many of the 10 total trees discussed are in the U.S., the author maintains a worldly air in his analysis, taking readers on a heady review of ornithology, meteorology, and archaeology as related to his subjects. His thoughtful prose lulls readers into extraordinarily in-depth studies of the molecular breakdown of dying trees, the sounds created by their great branches, and their manners of germination. Haskell is elegant in his observations, taking the same care with his words as he does with his research. Blending history and science with the grace of a poet, this is nature writing at its finest.--Mondor, Colleen Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this inspiring but uneven account, Haskell (The Forest Unseen), professor of biology at Sewanee, investigates the myriad connections between trees and their natural surroundings. Trees do not exist in isolation, he notes, and though their "trunks seemingly stand as detached individuals, their lives subvert this atomistic view." He devotes each of his 10 chapters (plus two interludes) to a particular tree, visiting Ecuador, Japan, and various points in North America. In Amazonian Ecuador, for example, Haskell calls attention to the ceibo tree, describing local hummingbirds, frogs, and monkeys before touching on oil-drilling camps now found in the rainforest. The heavy machinery cannot be ignored; "half of Ecuador's export revenues and one third of the government's budget come from oil." Juxtaposing contrasting images of nature in urban landscapes, Haskell describes the worlds revolving around a cottonwood tree in Denver and a callery pear in Manhattan in lively chapters full of engaging digressions and meditations. But the chapters on a balsam fir in Ontario and maples in Tennessee and Illinois are harder to read, sometimes dazing readers with tangential and obscure references. Despite a few weak spots, Haskell's study of interconnectedness reveals as much about humans as it does trees. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York, New York :2017
xi, 292 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-280) and index.