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City of Trees

City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest

Sophie Cunningham

How do we take in the beauty of our planet while processing the losses? What trees can survive in the city? Which animals can survive in the wild? How do any of us—humans, animals, trees—find a forest we can call home?

In these moving, thought-provoking essays Sophie Cunningham considers the meaning of trees and our love of them. She chronicles the deaths of both her fathers, and the survival of P-22, a mountain lion in Griffith Park, Los Angeles; contemplates the loneliness of Ranee, the first elephant in Australia; celebrates the iconic eucalyptus and explores its international status as an invasive species.

City of Trees is a powerful collection of nature, travel and memoir writing set in the context of global climate change. It meanders through, circles around and sometimes faces head on the most pressing issues of the day. It never loses sight of the trees.


3RRR: Breakfasters (2:10:00)
ABC Radio National: Blueprint for Living
Kill Your Darlings: Book Roundup 
Radio NZ: Nine to Noon 
Sydney Morning Herald (extract)

Sophie Cunningham
About the Author

Sophie Cunningham is the author of four books, Geography, Bird, Melbourne, and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy. She is a former publisher and editor, was a co-founder of The Stella Prize and is now an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University’s Non/fiction Lab.

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Text publication date:
2 April 2019
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Praise for Sophie Cunningham
andCity of Trees

‘[The] ability to hold and make space for opposing concepts is where the strength and beauty of [Cunningham’s] writing lies…City of Trees is a breath of fresh air accompanied by the knowledge of how much is lost, or is being lost…Through these essays one can find the hope and understanding to live and thrive in these dark times.‘

‘[Cunningham] creates a convincing sense of time and place, and can carry a reader with her telling observations and insights into the emotional lives of her characters.’

‘A gripping and visceral tale.’

‘Sophie Cunningham’s Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy I defy anyone to put down.’

‘In this poignant and timely collection of essays, Sophie Cunningham touches on matters private and political, historical and current, beautiful and terrifying.’

City of Trees is a sorrowful meditation on the effects of climate change and time, but it is also full of wonder, of hope.’

Other editions ofCity of Trees
  • City of Trees
    ISBN: 9781925774245
    2 April 2019
    Buy ebook