Within the Branches: An Exploration of The Trees

Our podcast, “Within the Branches: An Exploration of The Trees,” discusses Percival Everetts Booker Prize nominated novel, The Trees. For our podcast cover, we chose the cover of the hit single “Strange Fruit,” by Billie Holiday. The first four lines of this song are:  
“Southern trees bear strange fruit 
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root 
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze 
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” 
This song represents the many lynchings throughout the USA at the time this song was produced (1939). This novel handles the harsh topic of the lynchings of innocent people, mostly focusing on the south. A case primarily discussed in The Trees was the lynching of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till. Emmett Till was a young African- American boy accused of catcalling a white female grocery store worker, Carolyn Bryant, in Money, Mississippi. After this incident, Till was brutally murdered and lynched because of this accusation. Emmett Till’s murder has gone down in history as one of the most infamous lynchings in history, though it was only one of over 4,700 lynchings in the United States alone between the years of 1882 and 1968. The Trees is both incredibly emotional and dark, while also incorporating the aspect of humor at the same time. We go further into depth about all of these topics in our podcast. Thank you for listening and enjoy! 
This entry was posted in 2022 Booker Prize Short List, Lit Circles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Within the Branches: An Exploration of The Trees

  1. Michelle St. Jacques says:

    Great podcast Emily and Sophie! Sara and I (Michelle) feel that your analyzation of the text was very thorough and well thought out. I liked how you cited the text directly to give examples, but provided your own insight, complementing the author on his use of satirical language to tell such a disheartening story. We also enjoyed how you gave background of the author and his other books and accomplishments, it was clear that your view of the book had its origins as a consideration.

  2. annacalkins1 says:

    We love the historical context and background information on the author as it gave us a more thorough perspective as to why he wrote the book and the purpose behind it. We also love the use of the song “Strange Fruit” because we feel it really ties into the book’s tone and sets the podcast up for what it delivers.

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