Greyhound Literary

Uprooting: From the Caribbean to the Countryside - Finding Home in an English Country Garden

Agent : Julia Silk
Adult •
Uprooting: From the Caribbean to the Countryside - Finding Home in an English Country Garden
Publication date :
August 2023
  • Canongate (World All Languages)

What is home?

It is a question that has troubled Marchelle Farrell for her entire life. Years ago, like so many of the Black diaspora, she left behind the pristine beaches and emerald hills of Trinidad. Now she moves again for the verdant, peaceful surroundings of the English countryside.

These relocations at first appear as opportunity. But when placed within the context of a worldwide pandemic, and ongoing racial protests, the trauma and upheaval of colonialism that have inexorably led her to this house and garden begin to be unearthed. Is this really home? And can she ever feel truly grounded here?

A psychiatrist and specialist in talking therapies, Marchelle attempts to unpack this complex and emotional question while she tends to her new garden. Through her care for the unusual - and often unlikely - flora and fauna that is contained within it, she discovers that her two apparently conflicting identities are far more intertwined than she had previously realised.

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 in an English country garden.

'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

'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

'Uprooting is gorgeously written, a thoughtful and evocative meditation on gardening and making home ... 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.'  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

'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.' LUCY JONES