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 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 our ecosystems, and much more.
*Nominated as Readings Non-Fiction Book of the month March 2023*
Meetings with Remarkable Mushrooms is the US version of Underground Lovers, available outside of Australia & NZ.
What can we learn from the lives of fungi? Splitting time between the northern and southern hemispheres, ecologist Alison Pouliot experiences two autumns per year in the pursuit of fungi—from Australia’s deserts to Iceland’s glaciers to America’s Cascade Mountains. In Meetings with Remarkable Mushrooms, we journey alongside Pouliot, magnifiers in hand, as she travels the world.
We’ll smell fire-loving truffles that transform their scent after burning to lure mammals who eat them. We’ll spot the eerie glow of the ghost fungus, a deceptive entity that looks like an edible oyster mushroom. And we crawl alongside vegetable caterpillars, which are neither vegetable nor caterpillar but a fungus that devours insects from the inside out.
Featuring stunning color photographs, Meetings with Remarkable Mushrooms shows that understanding fungi is vital for understanding the natural world.
Fungi are diverse, delicious and sometimes deadly. With interest in foraging for wild food on the rise, learning to accurately identify fungi reduces both poisoning risk to humans and harm to the environment. This extensively illustrated guide takes a ‘slow mushrooming’ approach – providing the information to correctly identify a few edible species thoroughly, rather than many superficially. It models ‘ecological foraging’ – an approach based on care, conservation and a deep understanding of ecosystem dynamics.
Wild Mushrooming then takes us into the kitchen with cooking techniques and 29 recipes from a variety of cuisines.
*Shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2022: Illustrated Non-Fiction*
*Longlisted for the ABIA Book Awards 2022: Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year*
Although relatively little known, fungi provide the links between the terrestrial organisms and ecosystems that underpin our functioning planet. The Allure of Fungi presents fungi through multiple perspectives, exploring how a history of entrenched fears and misconceptions about fungi has led to their near absence in Australian ecological consciousness and biodiversity conservation.
Through a combination of text and visual essays, the author reflects on how aesthetic experience deepened by scientific knowledge offers the best chance for understanding fungi, the forest and human interactions with them.