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Photo Guido Mina di Sospiro par Pierre M

Un livre mémorable ! 

"Mémoires d'un Arbre"


Interview en exclusivité avec

Guido di Sospiro

author de "Mémoires d'un Arbre"

Paris, 2019


by Ingrid Vaileanu 

Interview Francophone:  What is the main message of your book? 


Guido di Sospiro: Listen to trees; they have a lot to say, and it’s in our interest to listen to them.


Interview Francophone:  What were the experiences, people, places who inspired you and how would you like to inspire your readers?


Guido di Sospiro: At the end of the book, there are pages and pages of Acknowledgements in which I try to thank everybody who was involved in the making of Mémoires d’un arbre. I see my book as a symphony, with many virtuosic instrumentalists taking part in it. Since the book is set in Ireland and based on a actual yew tree that grows in County Kerry, I collaborated with the greatest botanists and naturalists of the British Isles, from both the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well with some American ones. The most important among them: Sir Ghillean Prance, who has discovered many plants in the Amazon, now named after him; Alan Mitchell, the greatest expert on “champion” trees of the British Isles, who catalogued over one hundred thousand remarkable trees in the UK; Alex Shigo, from Maine, in America, who revolutionized the way we understand trees thanks to his dissecting hundreds of thousands of them and discovering their process of “compartmentalization”; and many, many, many more. They are all mentioned with gratitude and fondness in the Acknowledgments.


Interview Francophone:  In September 2019 demonstrations about the climate change were organized all over the world. How could your book bring together the generations around the right question and even potential solutions?


Guido di Sospiro: By understanding the role of trees. There are an estimated 3 trillion trees on Earth—about half the number estimated for twelve thousand years ago. Every year 5 billion trees are planted, 15 billion are cut. This should be definitively reversed, and then some. By absorbing carbon dioxide as part of the photosynthesis process and turning it into oxygen, and by evaporating water into the air, trees cool the planet. The good news is that there are more trees in the Northern Hemisphere now than there were one hundred years ago. The solution is simple: the more trees we plant, and the fewer trees we cut, the better it is for the planet and for all of us.


Interview Francophone:  What are your plans for future books?


Guido di Sospiro: I have a variety of projects. Among them, Memoirs of a River is already written. Next year, the second novel I co-wrote with Joscelyn Godwin will be released in America: Forbidden Fruits, a pacey esoteric thriller set in Malta and Italy.


Interview Francophone:  What is your message for the new generations? 


Guido di Sospiro: My message echoes an ancient Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

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