Robert Madrygin, author of The Solace of Trees, has experienced the meaning of culture, ethnicity, and language from many perspectives. As a child he lived in US-occupied Japan, attended a local school, and learned to speak Japanese. His father’s career then brought him back to the US to live on both coasts, and subsequently to Morocco, Franco-ruled Spain, and Paris. The adjustment in cultural shifts and moving from home to home were made all the more difficult due to the illness his mother suffered throughout her life, causing long periods of hospitalization and necessitating that he be placed in a succession of temporary homes during his early childhood. While Madrygin was in his teens, his father suffered a series of massive debilitating strokes and his mother died. On his own at a young age, he continued a life of travel. He worked in Spain as a laborer, in Italy as a deckhand on a ship, and in Alaska on a railroad and as a crew member on a fishing boat. Madrygin first started writing in his early twenties but put it aside when he met his future wife, married, and started a family. During this period, Madrygin, his wife, and three children lived in the US, Ecuador, and Spain and traveled widely. It wasn’t until years later, while living in Spain, with his children now grown, that the call to writing returned, and Madrygin, informed by a lifetime of experience, took up where he had left off decades earlier. He and his wife live in Vermont.