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Book Title

The Tree Doctor

Subtitle
A Novel
Author 1
Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Body
When the unnamed narrator of Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s stirring second novel returns to Carmel, California, to care for her mother, she finds herself stranded at the outset of the disease. With her husband and children back in Hong Kong, and her Japanese mother steadily declining in a care facility two hours away, she becomes preoccupied with her mother’s garden—convinced it contains a kind of visual puzzle—and the dormant cherry tree within it.

Caught between tending to an unwell parent and the weight of obligation to her distant daughters and husband, she becomes isolated and unmoored. She soon starts a torrid affair with an arborist who is equally fascinated by her mother’s garden, and together they embark on reviving it. Increasingly engrossed by the garden, and by the awakening of her own body, she comes to see her mother's illness as part of a natural order in which things are perpetually living and dying, consuming and being consumed. All the while, she struggles to teach (remotely) Lady Murasaki’s eleventh-century novel, The Tale of Genji, which turns out to resonate eerily with the conditions of contemporary society in the grip of a pandemic.
 
The Tree Doctor is a powerful, beautifully written novel full of bodily pleasure, intense observation of nature, and a profound reckoning with the passage of time both within ourselves and in the world we inhabit.

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List Price
$17.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-64445-277-6
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
256
Trim Size
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
Keynote
A startling, erotic novel about struggling for life when joy is shadowed by despair and disease

About the Author

Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Credit: Alfie Goodrich
Marie Mutsuki Mockett is the author of a previous novel, Picking Bones from Ash, and two books of nonfiction, American Harvest, which won the Nebraska Book Award, and Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye, which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award.

http://www.mariemockett.com/
More by author

Upcoming Events

Marie Mutsuki Mockett reading and in conversation with Megha Majumdar about THE TREE DOCTOR at Books Are Magic (Montague St.)

Date:
Location:
Books Are Magic (Montague Street) in Brooklyn, NYview map
Tickets start at $10 and will include either a copy of The Tree Doctor or a $10 Books Are Magic gift card. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets. Copies of The Tree Doctor are available for purchase at Books Are Magic. The event will also be livestreamed via YouTube here

Marie Mutsuki Mockett reading and in conversation with Tom Barbash about THE TREE DOCTOR at Book Passage (Corte Madera)

Date:
Location:
Book Passage in Corte Madera, CAview map

Marie Mutsuki Mockett reading and in conversation with Mark Sarvas about THE TREE DOCTOR at The Bookworks

Date:
Location:
Bookworks (Pacific Grove) in Pacific Grove, CAview map
This event is free and open to the public. Copies of The Tree Doctor are available for purchase from Bookworks

Marie Mutsuki Mockett reading and in conversation with Shanthi Sekaran about THE TREE DOCTOR at Green Apple Books on the Park

Date:
Location:
Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco, CAview map
This event is free and open to the public. Click here for more details. Copies of The Tree Doctor are available for purchase from Green Apple Books on the Park

Praise

  • “Juggling the demands of caregiving, teaching, and a budding affair with an arborist, this sensual and profound novel is an exploration of the natural cycle of life and death, echoing themes of The Tale of Genji.Oprah Daily, "Most Anticipated Books of 2024"
  • “Through a yearning first-person narration, the protagonist’s trials evoke difficult but vital questions about survival and endurance. . . . These interrogations are threaded seamlessly into the narrator’s pursuit of her own power, a pursuit that reveals just how liberating the decision to dismantle and reassemble one’s self can be. An affecting story of personal transformation, as broody as it is erotic.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • “Mockett has written a ravishing and astute tale of solitude and family bonds, distance and intimacy, disruption and healing.”Booklist
  • “Mockett brings forth a fertile tale of sex and gardening set in the early days of Covid-19. . . . This portrayal of a woman’s emotional courage and restoration makes the lockdown worth revisiting.”—Publishers Weekly
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