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Richard Powers (1) (1957–)

Autor(a) de The Overstory

Para outros autores com o nome Richard Powers, ver a página de desambiguação.

20+ Works 17,539 Membros 625 Críticas 85 Favorited

About the Author

Richard Powers was born on June 18, 1957 in Evanston, Illinois. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts and worked as a computer programmer and freelance data processor. One day mostrar mais he saw August Sander's 1914 black-and-white photograph of three Westerwald farm boys heading to a dance at the Museum of Fine Arts. This photograph inspired Powers to quit his job and try writing a novel. Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance was published in 1985. His other works include Prisoner's Dilemma, The Gold Bug Variations, Operation Wandering Soul, Galatea 2.2, Plowing the Dark, The Time of Our Singing, and Generosity: An Enhancement. He received numerous awards including the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction for Gain, the National Book Award for The Echo Maker, and Pulitzer Prize in fiction for The Overstory: A Novel. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: salon.com

Obras por Richard Powers

The Overstory (2018) 5,299 exemplares
The Echo Maker (2006) 2,585 exemplares
Bewilderment (2021) 1,469 exemplares
The Time of Our Singing (2003) 1,352 exemplares
Galatea 2.2 (1995) 1,321 exemplares
The Gold Bug Variations (1991) 1,225 exemplares
Orfeo (2014) 884 exemplares
Generosity: An Enhancement (2009) 664 exemplares
Plowing the Dark (2000) 656 exemplares
Gain (1999) 616 exemplares
Operation Wandering Soul (1993) 437 exemplares
Prisoner's Dilemma (1988) 376 exemplares
Genie (2012) 13 exemplares
Ways of Hearing: Reflections on Music in 26 Pieces (2021) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares

Associated Works

The Orphan Master's Son (2012) — Posfácio, algumas edições3,921 exemplares
The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Contribuidor — 626 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 2009 (2009) — Contribuidor — 361 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 2011 (2011) — Contribuidor — 346 exemplares
Granta 90: Country Life (2005) — Contribuidor — 159 exemplares
Granta 108: Chicago (2009) — Contribuidor — 141 exemplares
Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer (2009) — Contribuidor — 79 exemplares
The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (2017) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
The Paris Review 167 2003 Fall (2003) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 03 (2013) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Black Clock 21 (2016) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Black Clock 3 — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



2014 Booker Prize longlist: Orfeo em Booker Prize (Agosto 2014)


The book that got me into trees, which goes to show you the wondrous things that books can do. The Overstory seems to ask the reader to accept that trees have consciousness and can even make moral choices, and while I fully submit to the idea that life and reality are far, far more mysterious and wondrous than humans can yet understand, God bless us for trying so hard, I have my rather strong doubts about the claim. But still. Still. This novel shows us something big and true that most of us do not tend to see and that isn’t all that bad a description of great literature, it seems to me.

I feared for a long stretch of the second half of this doorstop novel that Powers was, after starting out so brilliantly with a series of character sketches linking his human creations to the natural world in ways seen and unseen, sending me off on Google searches to learn more about chestnuts and banyans and mulberries and elms, well, I feared he was descending into heavy handedness and mind closing didacticism. Jack booted police psychopaths operating in the service of corporate capital and state power may be a thing but it makes for an eye rolling scene in literature. And it seemed he was heading for a grand finish of nihilistic doomsdayism. But no, he branches off away from that future, sends out a bud of new life, that left me rising out of my chair in gratitude for this mighty work.

Might should be a 5 star then, but considering my enthusiasm for it hit a drag for a couple hundred pages, it gets a 4. For now.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | 241 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
Like the mycelium that wrap around tree roots beneath the soil, providing a symbiotic transfer of nutrients, the stories Powers conjure rise to form a single overstory of grand limbs that only nature could conceive.
ben_r47 | 241 outras críticas | Feb 22, 2024 |
Have you ever heard the old saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”

In his novel, “The Overstory,” Richard Powers kind of turns the saying upside down. He wants you to focus on the trees themselves.

Part polemic on the destruction of biodiversity, part Thoreauvian love-letter to the backwoods, The Overstory is nothing if not in the tradition of apocalyptic fiction, although something of a quiet, mystical apocalypse.

And it is very disquieting because there’s no happy ending.

Here’s what I get from the story: human development is killing the goose that laid the golden egg, our ancient old-growth forests. This much is pretty well a given.

So how do we get out of this mess?

1. Non-violent civil disobedience. We stop the clear-cutting by getting in the way of the saws.
2. We educate the masses, make them understand that pulling up the forests now is short-term gain for long-term pain
3. We follow this path to its logical conclusion, but along the way we “bank” our biodiversity and wait until the day when civilization has done its worst and re-build the world from its DNA up.
4. Why not encourage people to substitute their physical desires with cyber pleasures. Instead of making it easy to fly halfway across the world releasing tons of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, we give them a VR helmet and tell them to fly there virtually. Use technology to find ways not to clear cut our forests.
5. We go to the substantive roots of our legal system, the right to own property, and prevent people from disturbing the commons.

Like I said above, there is no happy ending and none of the above solutions proves feasible. Mankind doesn’t reform itself and the author, in my opinion, stalls about two-thirds of the way through his story about where to take his characters.

So much of what he feeds us about the trees is now pretty much based on scientific knowledge.

Trees do communicate amongst each other. They provide common defences against biological invaders. They exchange minerals for sugars with fungi. And they have a remarkable hydrolic system for getting water up trees hundreds of feet high.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s that there’s a lot more we can do virtually that we don’t need to do in person. We can do without literally millions of polluting car trips to and from an office if we put our minds to it.
… (mais)
MylesKesten | 241 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
[Additional note, one year later... Some books stay with me; the story and characters unexpectedly popping into my memory and seeming as real as persons I have met. The Overstory has proved to be just such a one. I've added it to my "planning to re-read" category, which means it may likely get a five-star rating from me at that point.]

While reading the first two-thirds of this book, I was so enthused that I could easily imagine reading it a second time and giving it 5 stars. But the last third was like an overly long, slow denouement to the emotional climax.
I'm very glad that prior to reading this book I had already read [b:The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World|28256439|The Hidden Life of Trees What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World|Peter Wohlleben|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1464281905l/28256439._SX50_.jpg|48295241] by [a:Peter Wohlleben|4110912|Peter Wohlleben|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1474069110p2/4110912.jpg] and [b:A Natural History of North American Trees|567816|A Natural History of North American Trees|Donald Culross Peattie|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348962010l/567816._SX50_.jpg|554885] by [a:Donald Culross Peattie|651969|Donald Culross Peattie|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/m_50x66-82093808bca726cb3249a493fbd3bd0f.png]. Those books lay down some of the real science and prose that Powers weaves so well into The Oversory.
For those more inclined to fiction than to non-fiction, this is an excellent introduction into the amazing world of trees. Highly recommended in spite of the drown-out ending.
… (mais)
1 vote
Treebeard_404 | 241 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |


Trees (1)


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