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Published: 20 May 1999
Genre: General & literary fiction
On a property in New South Wales, a man named Holland lives with his daughter Ellen. As years pass and Ellen grows into a beautiful young woman, her father announces his decision: she will marry the first man who can name all the species of the eucalypt, down to the last tree.
One of the great and most surprising courtships in literature
Bail tells a story which is encrusted with delicious detail, and writes in an affecting mood of rapt tenderness. The book will haunt its readers long after more perfectly-finished fictions have faded from their memories
Andrew Motion, Observer
Tall trees inspire tall tales. Eucalyptus makes most other novels seem weedy by comparison. It is a towering achievement
Mark Sanderson, Time Out
His sentences have a perpetually off-balance wit which gives you life's jumble, its mystery, its unexplained compactness. You take in the humour first, but then they deepen and deepen. Buy the book. You won't have read anything like it
Francis Spufford, Evening Standard
A most unusual, enchanting work...a novel of most beguiling originality
Carmen Callil, Daily Telegraph
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