Winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize, moving between Trinidad and an idyllic English country garden, this lyrical and reflective book is about the search for home
What is home?
It's a question that has troubled Marchelle Farrell for her entire life. A longed-for career in psychiatry saw her leave behind the pristine beaches and emerald hills of Trinidad. Until, disillusioned, she uprooted again, this time for the peaceful English countryside.
The only Black woman in her village, Marchelle hopes to grow a new life. But when a worldwide pandemic and a global racial reckoning collide, the upheaval of colonialism that has led her to this place begins to be unearthed. Is this really home? And can she ever feel truly grounded here?
Drawn to her new garden, Marchelle begins to examine this complex and emotional question through the psychotherapeutic lens of her work. As her relationship with the garden deepens, she discovers that her two conflicting identities are far more intertwined than she had realised.
Full of hope and healing, Uprooting is a book about finding home where we least expect it, and which invites us to reconnect to the land - and ourselves.
A beautiful memoir that shows how gardens can be a place to plant our most troubled feelings, to put down roots and to find peace -- KATHERINE MAY
Uprooting is a potent hymn to the importance of home and a deeply thoughtful offering on what our gardens can be -- ALICE VINCENT
Glistening . . . Not since Braiding Sweetgrass have I folded over so many pages; this book will change how we speak of gardens, land and identity in myriad ways. Never shying away from subject matter both raw and unsettling, Farrell speaks of bodies and motherhood; race and grief; privilege and the past - in ways I have not encountered before. An exquisite love letter [and] a rallying call * * Irish Times * *
A wonderful book * * Financial Times * *
Stunning . . . The power of [Farrell's] prose, her skilful observation and her uncanny ability to weave together science and spirituality comes alive in this memoir * * NB Magazine * *
Emotive . . . [Farrell] uses her plot to as a lens from which to consider to place, people and planet. At time universal, at other times, strikingly personal * * Gardens Illustrated * *
Can the shifting sands upon which a diasporic life is built ever begin to settle? In her search for belonging, Farrell co-creates a garden and considers the wider cultural and political landscapes that have shaped her. A beautiful entanglement of soil and soul -- JINI REDDY
Uprooting is at once tender and direct - as lyrical in its descriptions of home landscapes as it is scathing on the still-living legacies of colonisation. Farrell has given us a profoundly honest portrait of plants, place and the shifting of spirit wrought by migration -- JESSICA J LEE
In this beautiful book, Marchelle Farrell excavates the troubled legacies of colonialism and her own uprooting as she brings her Somerset garden back to life. Over the course of a year she pours love into the depleted soil and is rewarded with an abundance - of plants, insights and friendships - and, most importantly, a sense of finding home -- LULAH ELLENDER
Uprooting is gorgeously written, a thoughtful and evocative meditation on gardening and making home. Marchelle took me right there into her garden with her words, and I shared the passing of seasons with her. Having been uprooted and rooted several times, I admired the love and generosity in Marchelle's words. For anyone who has searched for home, this will feel comforting and reassuring -- DR PRAGYA AGARWAL, author of (M)OTHERHOOD and HYSTERICAL
A cracking, glistening, important book that will change how we speak of gardens, land and identity in myriad ways. A story of becoming and belonging; of building a safe, beautiful life as a means of digging up the chains that colonialism has tried to keep our world bound by. More than anything it is a rallying call; imploring us to reshape what it means to inhabit a place; showing us so many ways that we might make home -- KERRI NI DOCHARTAIGH
Marchelle Farrell paints a living, breathing portrait of her home(s), both distant and near, real and imagined. She wills us to look closer, not just at the garden's present but also its past and its imagined future, uncovering an intricate root system of memories and migration lines. Farrell's writing allows us to see plants as vessels of memory and history, plants as kin -- NINA MINGYA POWLES
With lyrical prose, Farrell carries the reader along as she investigates the process of putting down new roots. In a frenetic and troubled world, her book is a timely reminder of the solace to be found within a garden -- SUE STUART-SMITH
Transformative. Farrell's writing brought to mind the searching gaze of V. S. Naipaul in The Enigma of Arrival. But her voice is wholly her own, and her story of gardening is a fresh one, leaping off the page with urgency and beauty. But what's also giving me life is the prismatic beauty of her sentences, so poetic that I sometimes had to pause my reading to let them soak in. A powerful and beautiful book -- JASON ALLEN-PAISANT
Uprooting shimmers with earth-loving beauty, power and possibilities. An urgent, generous, deeply astute book with a strength and sensibility that challenges the inadequate and harmful stories and myths we have been told, and sows the seeds of much-needed new ones. I loved its softness and its toughness, its vitality and its intimacy, Farrell's poetic sentences and her rich and layered ways of seeing. An essential book about connection, interdependence, the experience of mothering, and the magic of the wild, both in the garden, and inside us all -- LUCY JONES
- Winner of Nan Shepherd Prize 2021 (UK)
Dimensions: 220mm x 144mm x 28mm