In 1910, while hiking through the wild lavender in a wind-swept, desolate valley in Provence, a man comes across a shepherd called Elzéard Bouffier. Staying with him, he watches Elzéard sorting and then planting hundreds of acorns as he walks through the wilderness.
Ten years later, after the war, he visits the shepherd again and sees the young forest he has created spreading slowly over the valley. Elzéard's solitary, silent work continues and the narrator returns year after year to see the miracle he is gradually creating: a verdant, green landscape that is a testament to one man's creative instinct.
Jean Giono was born in 1895 in Manosque, Provence, and lived there most of his life. He supported his family working as a bank clerk for eighteen years before his first two novels were published, thanks to the generosity of André Gide, to critical acclaim. He went on to write thirty novels, including The Horseman on the Roof, and numerous essays and stories. In 1953, the year in which he wrote The Man who Planted Trees, he was awarded the Prix Monégasque for his collective work. Jean Giono died in October 1970.