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Little Seed

Little Seed

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By Wei Tchou

Publication Date: May 14th, 2024

"Little Seed is what I want the future of literature to be." —Sam Cohen, author of Sarahland

Paperback ISBN: 9781646053360
eBook ISBN: 9781646053407


Little Seed is an experimental memoir that braids together the narrative of the author's relationship with her brother and family with a deeply personal field guide to ferns.

The chapters move associatively, commenting on each other indirectly and drawing out questions of assimilation, race, class, gender, nature and the general problem of being and knowing. When the author's brother has a psychotic break, the rigid structure of the book itself breaks apart and the protagonist adventures to the cloud forest of Oaxaca in order to truly live: to know the world by experiencing it rather than reading about it or following the direction of others. Some persistent themes throughout the book: What does it mean to be Chinese? What is love and how best to love? What really is a fern?

Biographical Note

Wei Tchou's essays and reporting can be found in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Oxford American, among other publications. She likes to write about food, nature, and the complications of identity. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and has an MFA from Hunter College. She lives in New York City, where she is tending a lemon tree.


"This book cracks open the world and roots out what is invisible, what cannot be classified or named. Traversing fairy tale, science history, and family lore, Tchou exposes the danger inherent to all stories, including the ones we tell ourselves. Little Seed is shaped like a fern, spiraling back to multiple origin points, unfurling, traveling like magic gold dust to unmake language and grow something realer and freer in its place. I think I am part fern after reading this gorgeous, lyrical book. Little Seed is what I want the future of literature to be." —Sam Cohen, author of Sarahland