Sunday Aug. 28, 2022
1:15pm - 2:00pm

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“Two Trees Make a Forest”

With Jessica Lee/ Taiwan/ UK/ Canada

Moderation: Alice Grünfelder/ Switzerland/ Germany

Languages: English, German

When Jessica J. Lee's well-hidden records of her late grandfather fall into her hands by chance, she decides not only to trace her family history, but also to investigate the island where her grandparents spent most of their lives: Taiwan. In an effort to understand this island of extremes situated between tectonic plates and opposing cultures, Jessica J. Lee uncovers the ways in which human destinies are linked to geographical forces.

Driven by a desire to understand the trauma that led her family first from China to Taiwan and finally to Canada, she traces the migration history of her ancestors, with all its depths and mysteries, through this island of high mountains, open lowlands, and dense forests.

Alice Grünfelder will discuss with Jessica Lee literary-aesthetic balancing acts between subjective self-exploration and geographical description.

On the Podium

Jessica Lee, British-Canadian-Taiwanese writer, PhD in Environmental History and Aesthetics. One of the founders of “The Willowherb Review”, a literary journal that focuses on nature writing by writers of color. Lee's writing emerges from the movement between lands and languages, as home is as much in language as it is in landscape, she writes in “My Year in the Water. Diary of a Swimmer”. It is the trees whose roots hold the earth; fittingly, her most recent book is called “Two Trees Make a Forest”, in which she weaves her family history with the flora & fauna of Taiwan.

• 2019 Two Trees Make a Forest
• 2017 Turning: A Year in the Water