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Today’s short story comes from Limber by Angela Pelster, published by Sarabande Books. Pelster’s startling essay collection charts the world’s history through its trees: through roots in the ground, rings across wood, and inevitable decay. These sharp and tender essays move from her childhood in rural Canada surrounded by skinny poplar trees in her backyard to a desert in Niger, where the “Loneliest Tree in the World” once grew. A squirrel’s decomposing body below a towering maple prompts a discussion of the science of rot, as well as a metaphor for the ways in which nature programs us to consume ourselves. Beautiful, deeply thoughtful, and wholly original, Limber valiantly asks what it means to sustain life on this planet we’ve inherited.