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Book Cover for: The Overstory, Richard Powers

The Overstory

Richard Powers

Reader Score


88% of readers

recommend this book

Critic Reviews


Based on 17 reviews on

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2021 & 2020 The New York Times Best Seller
Finalist:PEN/Faulkner Award -Fiction (2019)
Finalist:Booker Prize -Novel (2018)

The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of--and paean to--the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers's twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours--vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

Book Details

  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: Apr 2nd, 2019
  • Pages: 512
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.10in - 5.40in - 1.10in - 1.26lb
  • EAN: 9780393356687
  • Categories: LiteraryPoliticalNature & the Environment

About the Author

Powers, Richard: - Richard Powers is the author of fourteen novels, including The Overstory, Bewilderment, and Orfeo. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Critics’ reviews

Praise for this book

This book is beyond special.... It's a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and understand the world around us, at a moment when that is desperately needed.--Bill McKibben
An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.--citation from the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
A towering achievement by a major writer.--Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland
Should be mandatory reading the world over.--Emilia Clarke
The best book I've read in 10 years. It's a remarkable piece of literature, and the moment it speaks to is climate change. So, for me, it's a lodestone. It's a mind-opening fiction, and it connects us all in a very positive way to the things that we have to do if we want to regain our planet.--Emma Thompson
This ambitious novel soars up through the canopy of American literature and remakes the landscape of environmental fiction.... Remarkable.--Ron Charles "The Washington Post"
Monumental... The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size.... A gigantic fable of genuine truths.--Barbara Kingsolver "The New York Times Book Review"
It changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it.... It changed how I see things and that's always, for me, a mark of a book worth reading.--Barack Obama
The best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period.--Ann Patchett
The best novels change the way you see. Richard Powers's The Overstory does this. Haunting.--Geraldine Brooks