Jessica J. Lee is a British-Canadian-Taiwanese author, environmental historian, and winner of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author Award. She received a doctorate in environmental history and aesthetics in 2016, and her first book, Turning, was published in 2017. Jessica is the founding editor of The Willowherb Review. She lives in Berlin.
I loved this beautiful book. It's an attentive meditation on the
pleasures and lessons of swimming in lakes, particularly in winter.
Jessica Lee wears her bravery lightly and shares her knowledge with
generosity. I recommend for outdoor swimmers or those who would
like to be -- Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun
A brilliant debut . . . there is clarity and pleasure in the swim's afterglow * Times Literary Supplement *
A sublime, philosophical slipping into the deep. Her book, Turning, is filled with a wonderful melancholy as she swims through lakes laden with dark histories -- Philip Hoare * New Statesman *
Lee is intelligent and controlled, her writing clean and accurate . . . Turning is many things: a snapshot of Berlin seen through the prism of its lakes; the story of a broken and healing heart; a contemplation of identity; a coming-of-age story -- Katharine Norbury * Observer *
Bold and brave, she approaches her watery pilgrimage with a minimum amount of fuss. She doesn't, for instance, allow the ice on Brandenburg's lakes to get in her way, but takes a hammer to it . . . Lee writes like a siren, her silken prose blending with softly worn scholarship to enchanting effect. I challenge anyone to write more compellingly about Slavic suffixes or the formation of ice * Literary Review *
The redemptive power of these wild landscapes, the changes in the water, and in Jessica, combine to create an inspiring story * Daily Telegraph *
A lovely, poetic, sensuous and melancholy book * Irish Examiner *