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avatar for Melina Watts

Melina Watts

Change the World Books
Change the World Books
Greater Los Angeles Area
Tree” is a novel by Melina Sempill Watts about a tree written from a unique point of view: the chief narrator is a tree.
Grass, birds, other trees and animals come to life on the pages, while a few lucky people come to know one California live oak whose 229 years span the evolution of four human civilizations which each live their mark upon the landscape. Tree’s experiences lead to a central conclusion: "The underlying melody via every rock, plant, animal, sky and star, inside the water, from the dirt, through the light: only love lasts." -- Melina Sempill Watts, "Tree"

Take a journey into the heart of the woods where every plant shines – “Tree” will change how you see nature.


Here some advance reviews:

"If trees have standing before the law, as many argue, then they might very well also have standing in historical fiction as Melina Sempill Watts demonstrates in this intriguing new novel ... Blending environmentalism, magical realism, social history, and arboreal science, Tree challenges ... readers to regard the natural world with new respect."
-- Dr. Kevin Starr, premier California historian, winner of a National Humanities medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize, California State Librarian Emeritus and USC professor

"When we talk about environmental literature today, we pretty much mean non-fiction -- and there are acres of important books that come out on endangered species, policy, restoration work, science, engineering, sustainability, gardening, environmental justice, memoirs -- the list is endless. But when it comes to the literature of the environment, meaning potential candidates for the great American environmental novel, since "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and "Ishmael," our shelves are nearly empty. "Tree" is a bold new candidate in this category: a dive into the imagined interior realm of plants and the animals and people who love them, into the culture, history and ecosystems of the Santa Monica Mountains. You'll read it and read it again."
-- Aaron Mair, 2016-2017 Sierra Club President


Author's biography: Melina Sempill Watts’ writing has appeared in Sierra Magazine, the New York Times motherlode blog, Earth Island Journal and Sunset Magazine, in local environmental venues such as Urban Coast: Journal of the Center for the Study of the Santa Monica Bay, the Heal the Bay blog and in local papers such as Malibu Times, Malibu Surfside News, VC Reporter, Topanga Messenger and Argonaut News.
Watts began her career in Hollywood as a development executive, writing consultant and story analyst working for such luminaries Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Peter Horton and at Dreamworks. She has worked as a watershed coordinator, run a stable, shelved books at a library and created, marketed and ran Starfish Catering. Watts graduated from UCLA with a degree in history. She lives in California.