Uprooted: Marchelle Farrell & Jessica J. Lee

Sunday 26 May
Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens
10.30 - 11.30
£ 10.00 - (£9.00 conc / £7.50 U18)

Join Marchelle Farrell and Jessica J. Lee for a hopeful and healing discussion on finding a sense of home through plants and reconnecting to the land.

What is home? What can nature teach us about belonging, and how can we plant new roots when we feel out of place?

In Uprooting, therapist and writer Marchelle Farrell leaves behind the pristine beaches and emerald hills of Trinidad and eventually arrives in the English countryside. The only Black woman in her village, she hopes to grow a new life, but questions: can she ever feel truly grounded here? Marchelle attempts to unpack this complex and emotional question while she tends to her new garden. Full of hope and healing, Uprooting is a book that in troubled times and an unsettled world aims to find safety, stability and a sense of belonging through gardening.

Combining memoir, history, and scientific research in precise and poetic prose, Jessica J. Lee’s new book Dispersals is a poetic and intimate essay collection on the lives of plants and their entanglement with our human worlds. Born in Canada to a Taiwanese mother and a Welsh father, steeped in both literary and scientific traditions, Jessica is a perfectly placed observer of our world in motion. Her book is a meditation on the question of how both plants and people come to belong — or not — as they cross borders, and how all our futures are more entwined than we might imagine.


Part of City of Literature weekend 2024


City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by the National Centre for Writing.


Marchelle Farrell is a therapist, writer and amateur gardener. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she has spent the last twenty years attempting to become hardy in the UK. She has trained and worked as a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist. When not neglecting it for the care of her young children, or her work in the community, Marchelle spends much of her time getting to know her country garden in Somerset and writing about the things the garden teaches her about herself. Her debut Uprooting won the Nan Shepherd Prize. Image © Richard Grassie

‘A cracking, glistening, important book that will change how we speak of gardens, land and identity in myriad ways.’ — Kerri ní Dochartaigh


Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author and environmental historian. She is the author of two books of nature writing, Turning and Two Trees Make a Forest, and has been awarded the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, and the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award. Jessica is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review and is a researcher at the University of Cambridge. Image © Ricardo Rivas


‘In Lee’s writing, you feel the radical potential of the essay form; 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