In Search of the Canary Tree
BY LAUREN E OAKES, BASIC BOOKS, £20
The yellow-cedar is mighty and mysterious. Yet its high death-rate in parts of North America’s Pacific Coast could foreshadow our own future as the climate changes. Oakes tells the fascinating story not only of her fieldwork, beset by bears, remote terrain and food shortages, but also of how she comes to terms with loss – that of her father, and Alaskans’ loss of yellow-cedar trees. Oakes’ writing is poetic and philosophical; ultimately, she finds her own way to thrive in the face of our changing future.
Liz Kalaugher Science writer