Jessica J. Lee


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Penguin Books Ltd
25 April 2024
ISBN: 9780241597125
288 pages

From the publisher

‘An invigorating cross-pollination of memoir and natural history, both beautifully phrased and delicately structured—this book deserves your time and attention’ Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment

A poetic and intimate essay collection on the lives of plants and their entanglement with our human worlds

A seed slips beyond a garden wall. A seaweed drifts through an ocean. A tree is planted on a shifting border. A shrub is uprooted from its culture and its land. What happens when these plants leave their original homes and put down roots elsewhere?

Born in Canada to a Taiwanese mother and a Welsh father, steeped in both literary and scientific traditions, Jessica J. Lee is a perfectly placed observer of our world in motion.

In this vibrant book of linked essays she explores the entanglements of the plant and human worlds, and the echoes and counterpoints she detects in the migration of plants and people - and the language we use to describe them.

Each of the plants considered in this collection are somehow perceived as being "out of place"- whether weeds, samples collected through imperial science, or crops introduced and transformed by our hand.

Combining memoir, history, and scientific research in precise and poetic prose, Jessica J. Lee meditates on the question of how both plants and people come to belong - or not - as they border cross, and reveals how all our futures are more entwined than we might imagine.

'At once expansive and intimate, and most of all, gorgeously written. This is a book I will return to often over the course of my life’ Nina Mingya Powles, author of Small Bodies of Water