“Another Story in The Overstory: One of Richard Powers’s Trees Has a Human Avatar”

“Another Story in The Overstory: One of Richard Powers’s Trees Has a Human Avatar” Susan Balée Richard Powers just won the Pulitzer Prize for his latest novel, The Overstory, and it’s newly out in paperback. If you know the novel, you know the way critics keep comparing Powers’s narrative structure to the concentric circles one finds on the cut diameter of a tree trunk. I’m not sure they’re concentric; they’re, more like roots that communicate underground through mycorrhizal networks. In fact, the novel begins with “Roots,” stories of all the main characters whose lives will eventually touch. Nicholas Hoel,...

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