Powers’s prose enchants as he explores the secret life of plants

Richard Powers’s stories trace the faultline between scientific rationalism and a literary (or even romantic) humanism

1st April, 2018
Richard Powers’s new novel is slightly bonkers, but winningly smart Pic: Jimmy Kets

FICTION: The Overstory, By Richard Powers, William Heinemann, €21.85

In 1979, an English environmentalist named James Lovelock published a strange and fascinating book. It was called Gaia: A New Look At Life On Earth, and it proposed a revolutionary way of understanding our world. Instead of seeing our home planet as a collection of evolutionary accidents, Lovelock suggested that we see it as an holistic biosphere – a sort of lifeform unto itself....

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