Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.Tree explores the forms, uses, and alliances of this living object's entanglement with humanity, from antiquity to the present. Trees tower over us and yet fade into background. Their lifespan outstrips ours, and yet their wisdom remains inscrutable, treasured up in the heartwood. They serve us in many ways--as keel, lodgepole, and execution site--and yet to become human, we had to come down from their limbs. In this book Matthew Battles follows the tree's branches across art, poetry, and landscape, marking the edges of imagination with wildness and shadow. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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About the Author
"What astonishingly good writing! What a joy of a book. What a mind, this Matthew Battles. As he writes about trees, Battles could as well be describing his own wild mind: 'uncanny, possessed of depths and mystery, and feral in ways beyond my ken, . . . overspilling with dark abundance, . . . richly disruptive to one's daily commute.'" --Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change (2016) and Piano Tide: A Novel (2016)
"Battles ... shows how trees--and perhaps more importantly our relationships with trees--are incredibly complicated. Even dappling--that wonderful light that comes through a tree's leaves--is not as simple as it seems ... He makes clear that trees and their data have important stories to tell. That is if we let them." --PopMatters