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Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee

Two Trees Make a Forest


We are delighted to share the beautiful cover for Jessica J. Lee’s new book, Two Trees Make a Forest: On Memory, Migration and Taiwan.

Part-nature writing, part-biography and beautifully written, Two Trees Make a Forest traces the natural and human stories that shaped an island and a family. Jessica is the author of Turning: Lessons from Swimming Berlin’s Lakes, you can expect Two Tress Make a Forest to carry the same sublime, poetic writing and a real sense of place.

A note from Jessica:

In 2016, in the weeks after my grandmother died, my mother called to tell me she had discovered a letter written by my grandfather before he lost his memory to Alzheimer’s. It was a memoir of his life. He had died in Taiwan a decade earlier, but his words revealed more of his life to me than I had ever known: from his childhood in mainland China, to his years as a pilot with the Flying Tigers, and his life in Taiwan. The discovery of the letter came at exactly the right time for me: I had moved from Canada to the U.K. to Germany, and felt more detached than ever from my family’s past in Taiwan. A year after finding it, I ventured there, intent on reconnecting through the languages I best understood: through nature and place, and my often shoddy Mandarin! Two Trees Make a Forest is a record of that and other journeys – up Taiwan’s mountains, along ruptured coastlines, through thick-growing forests where island plants have adapted in isolation from their distant relatives. It traces the story of my family from China to Taiwan to Canada, but offers a story of place and migration much vaster than us. It is a story told through a disrupted landscape, amidst fissures in language, memory, and history.

Harriet Lee-Merrion’s cover art captures so much of how I felt while writing this book: glancing out over a vast landscape, feeling small but hopeful in the landscape my family called home. I’m so looking forward to sharing this story with readers.