Understory

Understory: a life with trees is Inga’s first work of nature writing. Available 30 May 2017.

I see the world through trees. Every window and
doorway frames trunks, limbs and leaves. My light is their light, filtered green. My air is their exhalation.

Each chapter of this absorbing eco-memoir explores a particular species of tree, layering description, anecdote, and natural history to tell the story of a scrap of forest in the Sunshine Coast hinterland – how the author came to be there and the ways it has shaped her life.

In many ways, it’s the story of a tree-change, of escaping suburban Brisbane for a cottage on ten acres in search of a quiet life. Of establishing a writers retreat shortly before the Global Financial Crisis hit, and losing just about everything when it did.

It is also the story of what the author found there: the literature of nature and her own path as a writer. Understory is about connection to place as a white settler descendant, and the search for a language appropriate to describe that experience.

The understorey is where I live, alongside these plants and creatures. I tend the forest, stand at the foot of trees and look up, gather what has fallen.

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“It is a fine addition to the genre of Australian nature writing.” ~ Books + Publishing.

“I love the way the reader gets lost in the trees and then lost in Inga’s life and then lost in the trees again. Understory feels so rich and nourishing, as if the restorative power of the Australian bush is transmitted through her words.” ~ Richard Glover.