> Skip to content

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent.

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent.

Each of these varied contributors – settlers, explorers, anthropologists, naturalists, stockmen, surveyors, itinerants, artists and writers – represents a particular place and time. Men in awe of the landscape or cursing it; aspiring to subdue and exploit it or finding themselves defeated by it. Women reflecting on the land’s harshness and beauty, on the strangeness of their lives, their pleasures and miseries, the character and behaviour of the men. Europeans writing about indigenous Australians, sometimes with intelligent sympathy and curiosity but often with contempt, and often describing acts of startling brutality.

This collection comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction, and follows the same loose themes of The Bush. The science of the landscape and climate, and the way we have perceived them. Our deep and sentimental connection to the land, and our equally deep ignorance and abuse of it. The heroic myths and legends. The enchantments. The bush as a formative and defining element in Australian culture, self-image and character. The flora and fauna, the waterways, the colours. The heroic, self-defining stories, the bizarre and terrible, and the ones lost in the deep silences.

There are accounts of journeys, of work and recreation, of religious observance, of creation and destruction. Stories of uncanny events, peculiar and fantastic characters, deep ironies, and of land unlimited. And musings on what might be the future of the bush: as a unique environment, a food bowl, a mine, a wellspring of national identity . . .

From Dampier and Tasman to Tim Flannery and assorted contemporary farmers, environmentalists and grey nomads, these pieces represent a vast array of experiences, perspectives and knowledge. A Single Tree is an essential companion to its brilliant predecessor.

Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781926428819

    October 31, 2016

    Hamish Hamilton

    432 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781760142834

    October 31, 2016

    Penguin eBooks

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Article
Fragments of the Bush

Don Watson introduces A Single Tree: Voices from the Bush.

Also by Don Watson

The Bush
There It Is Again
Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump: Quarterly Essay 63
Worst Words
Reflections on Recollections of a Bleeding Heart
The Big House on the Hill
The Big House on the Hill (Storycuts)
Reflections on Recollections of a Bleeding Heart (Storycuts)
Recollections Of A Bleeding Heart 10th Anniversary Edition
Bendable Learnings
American Journeys
On Indignation
The Wayward Tourist
Watson's Dictionary Of Weasel Words
Death Sentence
Rabbit Syndrome: Australia & America: Quarterly Essay 4
Caledonia Australis

Recommendations

The Rub of Time
Home and Away
Bit Rot
Quicksand
Late Essays
Dear Friend, From My Life I Write To You In Your Life
Flaneuse
Moranifesto
Being There
On Passion
On Doubt
When the Facts Change
Meanjin Vol 76 No 4
There It Is Again
Chronicles of a Liquid Society
Animals Strike Curious Poses
Winter
Meanjin Vol 76 No 2
The World-Ending Fire
The A to Z of Modern Manners