Among the Trees: An Essay on Communal Living
Original title: Parmi les arbres. Essai de vie commune
A very fine book. — Philippe Labro, C8
In his book, the author offers an X-ray of the trees he has encountered: roots, trunk, photosynthesis, architecture, everything is carefully described with elegant language blending science and philosophy. — Mathieu Vidard, France Inter, La Terre au carré
A fluid and humorous essay combining scientific knowledge and personal anecdotes. — Andreina de Bei, La Recherche
A very inspiring work. — Caroline Lachowsky, RFI, Autour de la question
“I love literature, science, and trees, but for many years I couldn’t find a way to marry the three—each of these passions took their own separate paths without ever intersecting. And then one summer while walking in the forest in the Pyrénées, the solution came to me. I felt the urge to speak of trees, to speak both about what they are and how we live with them. I started writing on my telephone as I walked, and I’m sure the people I met along the way took me for a city type who was incapable of looking at the natural world around him, but in reality I had finally found a way of talking about what I saw.
“I want to talk about these extraordinary beings with whom we share the Earth, who are alive like us but in a different way and with whom we have an ongoing relationship which we don’t spend enough time reflecting on, so deeply it is ingrained within us. Deep down we are arboreal—we have always lived with trees. So rather than turning them into anthropomorphic beings, I wanted to convey their strangeness as seen through the lens of science but also bring out their closeness to us through anecdotes that highlight the familiar place that they occupy in our lives, and we in theirs. In blending these two points of view courtesy of the power of literature, I want to pay homage to these life companions, these co-tenants of the Earth without whom our planet would be uninhabitable.”