Eucalyptus: A Novel (Paperback)
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
On a property in New South Wales, a widower named Holland lives with his daughter, Ellen. Over the years as she grows into a beautiful woman, Holland plants hundreds of different eucalyptus trees on his land, filling the landscape, making a virtual outdoor museum of trees. When Ellen is nineteen, Holland announces that she may only marry the man who can correctly name the species of each and every gum tree on his property. A strange contest begins, and Ellen is left unmoved by her suitors until she chances on a strange young man resting under the Coolibah tree whose stories will amaze and dazzle her. A modern fairy tale, and an unforgettable love story, that bristles with spiky truths and unexpected wisdom about art, feminine beauty, landscape, and language. Eucalyptus affirms the seductive power of storytelling itself.
Murray Bail has won numerous prizes for his novels—Eucalyptus, Homesickness, and Holden’s Performance—including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Eucalyptus. He lives in Sydney, Australia.
“You will never forget what is at the heart of this book--one of the great and most surprising courtships in literature.” —Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient
“Incandescent . . . Eucalyptus bristles with psychosexual tension as it addresses the human urges to manipulate, possess, and surrender--in other words, the whole imbroglio of Love with a capital L.” —Michael Upchurch, The New York Times Book Review