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Sophie Cunningham


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The Mornington Peninsula is home to nearly 700 species of indigenous plants, including dozens of native trees. From mangroves to rainforests, these trees form just one part of an ecosystem of flora and fauna, as busy and thriving as any city. 

Trees take the starring role in Sophie Cunningham’s latest book, City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest. From intimate personal reflections on death and grief to international contemplations about the eucalyptus as an invasive species, this poignant essay collection considers our relationships to trees, and how and why we love them. What does it mean to admire the beauty of nature in the face of climate catastrophe?

Cunningham is the author of five books, all of which look towards the built and natural worlds we live in, from Melbourne to Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy. This November at Montalto – on a property filled with olive trees and eucalypts – join Cunningham and series host Elizabeth McCarthy for a conversation about trees: how we live with them, and what they tell us about life.

Presented in partnership with Montalto.

Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery will be our bookseller at this event.


Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is a non-fiction writer and novelist with a passion for trees, walking and broader environmental issues. Sophie’s most recent books are This Devastating Fever (Ultimo Press) and Flipper and Finnegan –The True Story of How Tiny Jumpers Saved Little Penguins (Albert Street Books)... Read more

Elizabeth McCarthy

Elizabeth McCarthy is a Melbourne-based radio producer and presenter. Her book reviews can be heard on ABC Radio Melbourne. She was a judge for the 2021 Stella Prize, and was convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction 2019. She interviews writers and artists at live events and ... Read more



33 Shoreham Road Red Hill South Victoria 3937

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.