Richard Powers wins the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Richard Powers has won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Overstory.

An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another.

From antebellum New York to the late-twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, The Overstory is a dazzling and epic novel about nine strangers linked by their connection to trees, brought together in a last stand to save them from an unfolding catastrophe. It reveals a world alongside our own – one that’s vast, slow, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.

Readings Carlton assistant manager Julia Jackson describes The Overstory as ‘an elegiac and absorbing novel about humanity, trees and our relationship with the natural environment woven through a diverse ensemble of characters.’

The Pulitzer judges commented: ‘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.’

The two finalists in the fiction category were Tommy Orange’s There There and Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers.

Other winning books from this year’s Pulitzer Prizes include…

This year, the Pulitzer judges also awarded Aretha Franklin a Special Citation for ‘her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades’.

To find the full list of prize winners and finalists please visit the Pulitzer Prize website.

The Overstory

The Overstory

Richard Powers

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