Underground Lovers

AU$ 29.95

Encounters with Fungi

Alison Pouliot

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

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 our ecosystems, and much more.

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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.”


  1. Stirrings in the subterrain
  2. Life in the mycosphere
  3. Going bush
  4. No such thing as a bad fungus
  5. Fungi, fire and ice
  6.  Fungal renegades
  7. The mycophagists
  8. Conserving the bizarre and the beautiful
  9. Women as keepers of fungal lore
  10. Restoring fungi

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“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, songwriter

“An evocative, accessible and important book about one of the most vital, yet hugely ignored, kingdoms on our planet – fungi. After reading this you cannot help but see the world in a different light – and should approach mushrooms and truffles with new relish.” – Charles Massy, author of Call of the Reed Warbler

“Anyone who has joined Alison in a forest, anywhere in the world, will know her incredible ability to magnify those microscopic organisms that hold our natural world together, to connect every element of human life – physical, emotional or social – to the function of our natural landscapes. Underground Lovers is like a walk in the forest, pungent and complex, filled with curiosity and wonder, and leaving you with a sense that there is so much more to uncover.” – Millie Ross, horticulturist and presenter, ABCTV Gardening Australia

Product details

Published March 2023
NewSouth Books
Paperback, 288 pages.
Size: 135 x 210mm.

ISBN: 9781742237664


Alison Pouliot is an ecologist and environmental photographer with a focus on fungi. She is active in Australian and international fungal conservation and her writing and images appear in both academic and popular literature. Alison’s fungus forays, which she conducts across both hemispheres, attract a range of people from foragers and philosophers to rangers and traditional owners. https://alisonpouliot.com/

Additional information

Weight 0.3 kg
Dimensions 210 × 135 × 20 mm

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