A tree planter’s vivid story of a unique subculture and the magical life of the forest.
Charlotte Gill spent twenty years working as a professional tree planter in the forests of Canada. Charged with sowing the new forest in clear-cuts, tree planters are caught between the stumps and the virgin timber, between environmentalists and loggers. Eating Dirt offers up a slice of tree planting life in all of its soggy, gritty exuberance, while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests that evolved over millennia into complex ecosystems. Gill looks at logging’s environmental impact and its boom-and-bust history, and touches on the substance of wood, nature’s most versatile polymer. Eating Dirt also eloquently evokes the wonder of trees, which grow from tiny seeds into one of the world’s largest organisms, our slowest-growing “renewable” resource. A joyous celebration of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees.
A couple plots against a crying baby in the apartment below as their dysfunctional relationship begins to veer off course. A scuba-diving instructor falls for a teenaged girl in a perilous Lolita-like romance. Twin sisters travel to exotic lands in search of romance in order to rescue themselves from their own dark, intense bond. A woman reconnects with the son of her father’s mistress, and together they begin an obsession with the past. An unfaithful man takes his girlfriend to his ailing mother’s for Christmas, only to find himself at the crossroads of sexual impulse and mortality. Ladykiller‘s characters succumb to the allure of trouble, and Gill explores this terrain with empathy and wit. Shot through with comic irony and gentle satire, these are compelling stories about the foibles of the human heart. Ladykiller is a brave collection of short fiction that reveals the strange wisdom embedded in our darkest instincts.