Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions

$29.95 inc. GST

Gum is about a magical, mythical, medicinal tree. More than that, it’s the story of new worlds, strange people and big ideas.

No matter where you look in Australia, you’re more than likely to see a eucalyptus tree. Scrawny or majestic, smooth as pearl or rough as guts, they have defined a continent for millennia, and shaped the possibilities and imaginations of those who live among them.

Gum: The story of eucalypts & their champions tells the stories of that battle and of some of the other eucalyptographers – the explorers, poets, painters, foresters, conservationists, scientists, engine drivers and many more who have been obsessed by these trees and who have sought to champion their powers, explore their potential and describe their future states. Eucalypts have fuelled this country’s mighty fires as readily as they’ve fuelled so many arguments about the ways they might be thought of – and yet they are as vulnerable as any other organism to the disruptions and threats of climate change.

‘Hay’s Gum is like a gum itself: it is made in equal parts of light and leaf; of music and matter … [It is] a sturdy, shapely book of fact, animated by wonder. Hay is a journalist, and she knows how to do her research. But she is also a writer, and she knows how to shape a story out of disorderly data. Her tale, this forest, has many branches, smoothly and sinuously interwoven.’ – Mark Tredinnick, The Canberra Times

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