Inspired by forests, trees, leaves, roots, and seeds, The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape invites readers to discover a new language to better read and write the natural world around us and reclaim our relationship with it.
As in many anthologies, there are moments when the narrative arc commonly expected of book-length works feels more like a winding trail through the woods. But the wet slap of ferns is a good reminder that not all paths should be cleared, and that the moments of delight are many. More than informative, The Language of Trees is inspiring; many of its writers merge the lyric with insights that are scientific, intimate and surprising ... A few themes crop up again and again — climate change, in particular — but they feel necessary; what must be remembered bears repeating.
Reading The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape feels like walking through an urban neighborhood during springtime ... The sliced-up format also has the effect of transfiguring tree bodies, as paper, into a book of tree meditations, with each meditation readable in 1-5 minutes ... [Holten's] desire to repurpose our lingual forms in rethinking our relations to nonhumans follows in the tradition, contemporarily speaking, of ecocritical authors like Amitav Ghosh, political movements like TREE x OFFICE, and Indigenous thinkers like Robin Wall Kimmerer.
The book is graced throughout with Holten’s delicate artwork: dense threadlike forests; drawings of seeds, leaves, and roots; and her inventive Tree Alphabet ... An appealing, celebratory offering with an urgent message.