The classic meditation on creativity and the natural world
“For years I have carried this book. . . with me on travels to reread, ponder, envy. In prose of classic gravity, precision, and delicacy, Fowles addresses matters of final importance.” —W. S. Merwin, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The Tree is the fullest and finest exploration I’ve ever read of how the useless delights to be discovered in nature can ripen into the practice of art.” —Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift
First published a generation ago, The Tree is renowned English novelist John Fowles's provocative meditation on the connection between the natural world and human creativity, and a powerful argument against taming the wild.
In it, Fowles recounts his own childhood in England and describes how he rebelled against his Edwardian father’s obsession with the “quantifiable yield” of well-pruned fruit trees and came to prize instead the messy, purposeless beauty of nature left to its wildest.
The Tree is an inspiring, even life-changing book, one that reaffirms our connection to nature and reminds us of the pleasure of getting lost, the merits of having no plan, and the wisdom of following one’s nose wherever it may lead—in life as much as in art.
This special 30th anniversary edition includes an introduction by Barry Lopez.