|Hurricane Branch||Adult Non-fiction||634.25 Masumoto|
A lyrical, sensuous and thoroughly engrossing memoir of one critical year in the life of an organic peach farmer, Epitaph for a Peach is "a delightful narrative . . . with poetic flair and a sense of humor" (Library Journal). Line drawings.
David Mas Masumoto, a third generation Japanese-American, attended the University of California at Berkeley and Douglas.
"Epitaph for a Peach" details the stresses and successes of a year on his family's peach farm. "Country Voices: The Oral History of a Japanese American Family Farm Community" combines interviews and his own memories to detail the history experiences of Japanese-Americans, including America's "relocation camps" of World War II. Masumoto has won the James Clavell Japanese-American National Literary Award, the Julia Child Award, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award.
Publisher's Weekly Review
This is a peach of a book, as delectable as the Sun Crest peach Masumoto is struggling to save. It is a superior variety as to taste but has a short shelf life. The author, a third-generation farmer, gives an eloquent account of one year on his farm in the California desert. He notes that grape and tree fruit farmers are deprived of an annual rite that other farmers haveplanting a new crop. Peach trees are planted every 15 to 20 years; grapevines, once in a lifetime. And, according to the author, a new planting is like having another child, requiring patience and sacrifice and a resounding optimism for the future. Masumoto's book reveals his commitment to the land and his family; it is also a cogent commentary on American agriculture. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal Review
This book is a delightful narrative on the life of a Japanese American peach and grape farmer in the San Joaquin Valley near Del Rey, California. With poetic flair and a sense of humor, Masumoto offers his perspectives on the joys and frustrations of raising and tending peaches and grapes. He describes his relationship with the weeds and insects that invade his fields, the unpredictability of the weather, his desire to treat workers fairly, and the realities of the market structure. Reading about Masumoto's attempts to produce high-quality peaches and his fears that rain at the wrong time will destroy his drying grapes will be a truly educational experience for those not familiar with the complexities of farming. Masumoto observes with awe the diversity of nature over four seasons and his family's obligation to plan their lives around the seasons. Many books about family farms today present an image of economic and social distress, but this work portrays the positive aspects as told by a farmer who enjoys his work. Recommended for public libraries.Irwin Weintraub, Rutgers Univ. Libs., Piscataway, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.