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Two Trees Make A Forest

Two Trees Make A Forest

In Search of My Family's Past Among Taiwan's Mountains and Coasts

Book - 2020
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"Combining an immersive exploration of nature with captivatingly beautiful prose, Jessica J. Lee embarks on a journey to discover her family's forgotten history and to connect with the island they once called home Taiwan is an island of extremes: towering mountains, lush forests, and barren escarpment. Between shifting tectonic plates and a history rife with tension, the geographical and political landscape is forever evolving. After unearthing a hidden memoir of her grandfather's life, Jessica J. Lee seeks to piece together the fragments of her family's history as they moved from China to Taiwan, and then on to Canada. But as she navigates the tumultuous terrain of Taiwan, Lee finds herself having to traverse fissures in language, memory, and history, as she searches for the pieces of her family left behind. Interlacing a personal narrative with Taiwan's history and terrain, Two Trees Make a Forest is an intimate examination of the human relationship with geography and nature, and offers an exploration of one woman's search for history and belonging amidst an ever-shifting landscape."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Catapult, [2020]
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781646220007
Call Number: B L5133a
Characteristics: xviii, 282 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: 2 trees make a forest


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A peaceful memoir of exploration, searching for her grandparents roots, that leads to the quiet exploration of the island nation of Taiwan. For me Taiwan has always been a blob off of the mainland of China, kicked out of the United nations for no good reason. It is so much more than that, peopled by indigenous settlers, Chinese dynasties, given to Japan, becoming independent, and prospering.

The terrain is fractured by mountains, earthquakes, and the seas around it, described most beautifully and lyrically.

Sprinkled in are many Mandarin Chinese symbols, simple at first and then intricately layered, like this story itself.

Kris--Pt. Roberts

IndyPL_EllenF Feb 01, 2021

Seeking to connect with her mother’s family, who left Taiwan for Canada in the 1970’s, author Lee travels to the island and finds a connection through the natural world of this lush and geologically volatile country, as well as through the letters of her grandfather, written when he was sliding into dementia. Lee writes poetically of the mountains and the beaches she walks, and traces the ways colonialism influenced how future generations learn about them.


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