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Richard Powers (1) (1957–)

Författare till The Overstory

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20+ verk 17,038 medlemmar 606 recensioner 85 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

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 visa mer 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) visa färre
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Verk av Richard Powers

The Overstory (2018) 4,986 exemplar
Minnets eko (2006) 2,561 exemplar
Bewilderment (2021) 1,386 exemplar
The Time of Our Singing (2003) 1,337 exemplar
Galatea 2.2 (1995) 1,302 exemplar
The Gold Bug Variations (1991) 1,214 exemplar
Orfeo (2014) 878 exemplar
Generosity: An Enhancement (2009) 656 exemplar
Plowing the Dark (2000) 655 exemplar
Gain (1999) 613 exemplar
Operation Wandering Soul (1993) 435 exemplar
Prisoner's Dilemma (1988) 371 exemplar
Genie (2012) 13 exemplar
Conjunctions: 40, 40x40 (2003) 8 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Orphan Master's Son (2012) — Efterord, vissa utgåvor3,847 exemplar
The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 621 exemplar
The Best American Short Stories 2009 (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 354 exemplar
The Best American Short Stories 2011 (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 337 exemplar
Granta 90: Country Life (2005) — Bidragsgivare — 159 exemplar
Granta 108: Chicago (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 134 exemplar
Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 77 exemplar
The Paris Review 167 2003 Fall (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 12 exemplar
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 03 (2013) — Bidragsgivare — 11 exemplar
Black Clock 21 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Black Clock 3 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



2014 Booker Prize longlist: Orfeo i Booker Prize (augusti 2014)


Very good. Really very good in every way. As story, as environment, as relationships, as philosophy. What are the brains of ours doing to our lives? The characters are complex, believable, relatable. The discussions on the brain are profound, disturbing…and the only respite, as always, is nature. Human, all too human.
BookyMaven | 109 andra recensioner | Dec 6, 2023 |
Depressing, but makes me look at trees differently, makes me listen to them more. Still (ironic choice of a word as the theme of the book and it’s eco-warriors comes down to “still”) it left me a little cold. A little impatient to finish the story and be done with the characters. About 500 pages long. It was good, but I don’t think I loved it.
1 rösta
BookyMaven | 227 andra recensioner | Dec 6, 2023 |
This is a gorgeously written, important book. It’s emotionally complex, morally challenging, and intellectually fecund - all of which makes it an eminently worthwhile read, though I’m not entirely sure I found it to be a particularly satisfying read.

The novel leads off with eight extremely long vignettes that introduce the characters (or sets of characters) that the story will trace over the course of the next 500 pages: a biologist who specializes in plant communications, a troubled young woman who experiences a life-altering rebirth, a solitary artist whose muse is nature, a socially awkward lad who grows up to be a psychologist fascinated by why people engage in futile behaviours, a modest intellectual property attorney & his sensation-seeking wife, a rough-around-the-edges-but-heart-of-gold Vietnam vet, the daughter of a Chinese emigree father who becomes an engineer, the son of an Indian emigree father who becomes a coding genius.

The thematic link between these backstories is that each tale references trees – sometimes in a direct way (there’s a lovely bit about a chestnut tree in the vignette about the artist), sometimes in more symbolic ways (trees as metaphors for family, memory, time, nature, hope, creativity, growth & rebirth, wisdom, salvation, etc.). Honestly, a part of me wonders if Powers didn’t lift large portions of this from short stories that he’d written earlier and separately … which isn’t meant as a critique, but would explain why so much of this section, while absorbing, doesn’t end up having much relevance to the subsequent tale.

From these seeds germinates the rest of the novel, in which the author’s protagonists separately and collectively embark upon journeys that will culminate in an understanding of the profound ecological significance of the largely unappreciated kingdom plantae. Worth recognizing Power's effort to incorporate cutting-edge botanical and ecological science into this part of the narrative. These pages hammer home, again and again, the message that earth is a single, interconnected biosphere, that healthy ecosystems perform ecological services that are key to sustaining Earth’s habitability, that ecosystems are sentient in ways we are only just beginning to understand, that preserving biodiversity is essential to preserving functioning ecosystems, and that - in our capacious and thoughtless appetite for resources - humans are likely to end up driving all life (including themselves) to extinction.

Powers’ other, equally important message: that forests serve a profoundly important aesthetic and spiritual purpose, reminding us that the true art of living isn’t about the resources we acquire, but about the connections that we make during our lives and the legacy that we leave in our wake – the nutrients that nature recycles to create new life, the enduring ideas and memories that humans recycle to create understanding.

A frequent issue I have with novels is that the characters neither reflect nor grow, so it feels strange to be dinging Overstory for the opposite problem! The time Powers spends tracing the complex inner journeys of each character comes (I felt) at the expense of creating a consistent and engaging external journey. Some of the characters do end up dabbling in activism, but this aspect of the novel never develops in any sort of important way. By the end of the novel, you understand that the consciousness of each character has been altered in profound ways, but they’ve largely failed to translate those weighty new understandings into any sort of useful action. Which is clearly enough to win you a Pulitzer Prize, but not particularly gratifying if, as a reader, you’re itching for a bit of inspiration or hope.

FYI, I recommend that this be read within easy reach of internet access, and that readers take the time necessary to look up the individual species that Powers references throughout. The background knowledge I brought to this as a biology/environmental science educator substantially heightened my ability to appreciate that wonders that Powers describes throughout –the spiraling bark of the bristlecone pines, the swollen bellies of baobob trees, the mesmerizing way that mimosa leaves furl at the slightest touch. At the very least, do a quick image search on “unusual trees” and take the time to appreciate the truly remarkable diversity and evolutionary cunning of these ancient and indispensable beings.
… (mer)
Dorritt | 227 andra recensioner | Dec 1, 2023 |
Bernadette Dunne (Narrator)
The narrator ruined it for me. too slow
cfulton20 | 109 andra recensioner | Nov 13, 2023 |


Trees (1)


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Associerade författare

Manfred Allié Translator, Übersetzer
Jelle Noorman Translator
Sari Karhulahti Translator
Suzanne Toren Narrator
Evan Gaffney Cover designer
Teresa Lanero Translator
Licia Vighi Translator
Serge Chauvin Traduction
Albert Bierstadt Cover artist
Manfred Allié Übersetzer
Harm Damsma Translator
Niek Miedema Translator
Fritz Metsch Designer
Michael Ian Kaye Cover designer
Werner Schmitz Übersetzer
若島 正 翻訳
Raymond Martinez Cover photo
Evan Gaffney Design Cover designer
Chris Welch Designer
Beth Middleworth Cover designer
Reintje Ghoos Translator


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