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'Because a tree bloomed seasonally we felt its body like our own. A tree stood still and yet suffered change. A tree growing old grew down into itself. Trees could not heal wounds, only cover them up. Trees were magnificent survivors. Trees got used. Trees behaved erratically under stress. Trees strove to fulfill an ideal shape but were twisted out of it by pressures of existence.' In THE TREE IN CHANGING LIGHT, Roger McDonald meditates on our unique landscape and its rich tapestry of native and introduced trees, which 'give language to our existence'. His most intimate and personal book to date, it also celebrates country men like his grandfather Chester Bucknall, a forester and pine-planter, of whom he writes,'I believe him to have been a dreamer about trees'; Wilf Crane, Roger McDonald's mentor with trees who flew planes across country on solo planting raids and whose death while flying inspired this book; and Tom Wyatt, a bush gardener whose dedicated hands made trees bloom in Queensland towns. Here too are historical vignettes of a landscape husbanded for many centuries by Aborigines, yet swiftly and irrevocably changed by European settlement; encounters with poets and painters inspired by trees; tales of ordinary people for whom trees are talismanic; and interwoven throughout are autobiographical sketches, slices of family history and episodes from Roger McDonald's own life as a writer and sometime planter of trees. An unusual and beautiful book, THE TREE IN CHANGING LIGHT is the moving and personal statement of a writer about his relationship with the land, with language, with memory and with Australia's cultural and literary heritage.
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About the Author

Roger McDonald was born at Young, New South Wales, and educated at country schools and in Sydney. He began his working life as a teacher, ABC producer, and book editor. His first novel was 1915, a novel of Gallipoli, winner of the Age Book of the Year, and made into a highly successful eight-part ABC-TV mini-series, Slipstream, Rough Wallaby, Water Man and The Slap followed. Since 1980 McDonald has lived on farms outside Braidwood, south-eastern New South Wales, with intervals spent in Sydney and New Zealand. His account of travelling the outback with a team of New Zealand shearers, Shearers' Motel, won the National Book Council Banjo Award for non-fiction. His bestselling novel Mr Darwin's Shooter, was awarded the New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian Premiers' Literary Awards, and the National Fiction Award at the 2000 Adelaide Writers' Week. The Ballad of Desmond Kale won the Miles Franklin Award and South Australian Festival Prize for Fiction. A long story that became part of When Colts Ran was awarded the O. Henry Prize (USA).

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