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Underground Lovers

Encounters with fungi

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'Mists waft gently around me and slowly drizzle water through the fronds of tree ferns. Lichens wrap around twisted blackwood limbs like ornate scarves. In the gloom of the forest floor, fallen branches are sheathed with fungal stripes of yellow and purple. But beneath the colourful surface, the fallen litter is alive with the clandestine workings of fungi.'

Fungi offer a way to imagine life differently. In Underground Lovers Alison Pouliot reaches down to earth, and deeper, to dwell with fungal allies and aliens, discover how fungi hold forests together, and why humans are deeply entwined with these unruly renegades of the subterrain. Told through first-hand stories — from the Australian desert to Iceland’s glaciers to America’s Cascade Mountains — Alison Pouliot shares encounters with glowing ghost fungi and unearths the enigma of the lobster mushroom. Melding science and personal reflection, she explores the fungi that appear after fire, how fungi and climate change interact, the role of fungi in ours ecosystems, and much more.

What can we learn from the lives of fungi? Underground Lovers brings us to our knees, magnifier in hand, to find out.

‘A joy to read.’ — Sophie Cunningham

‘Sensual and scientific. Dazzling and boundary breaking. Underground Lovers will make you see the world anew.’ — Long Litt Woon

‘Evocative, accessible and important.' — Charles Massy

‘The world of fungi is our world even if we don’t know it and can’t see most of it — strange, dazzling, spooky, unpredictable, friendly, deadly, sly. And Alison is the perfect guide. She surprises and informs, delights and warns; makes you wish you could walk with her and her passionate companions. That’s ok. In this book you do.’ — Paul Kelly

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