Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

Eating Dirt

Charlotte Gill
Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe

Greystone Books/David Suzuki Foundation
 

Charlotte Gill
  

 

Jury Citation

From it’s first page, Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe takes the reader on a fast-paced journey through a season of tree-planting the clear-cuts of Canada’s west coast. Part memoir, part study of the intense beauty of some of the world’s oldest growth forests and our relationship to them as human beings, it is Charlotte Gill’s electric use of language that makes her twenty-years of experience come to vivid life.Eating Dirt not only takes us through the rough daily cycles of Gill’s unusual labor as a member of the ‘tree-planting tribe’ – “we fall out of bed and into our rags, still crusted with the grime of yesterday” – but into a world rarely seen and beautifully wrought.

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About the Book

Eating Dirt offers a look at tree-planting life with all of its soggy and gritty details. It tells the story of the magical life of the forest as well as the ancient relationship between humans and trees, which are our slowest-growing renewable resource. The book reveals the environmental impact of logging, and also questions the ability of artificially created conifer plantations to replace original forests that evolve over millennia into complex ecosystems.

About the Author

Charlotte Gill is a former professional tree planter who planted more than a million trees over 17 seasons. Her short story collection Ladykiller was a finalist for a 2005 Governor General’s Literary Award and winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2006. She lives in Vancouver.

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