Harvest Son by David Mas Masumoto
Planting Roots in Amercian Soil

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Epitaph for a Peach -- David Mas Masumoto's successful and critically acclaimed first book -- grew out of his attempt to save his orchard of old-fashioned juicy peaches from replacement by a more commercially viable brand. His glorious new book, Harvest Son, is about taking over and renewing the family farm.In prose of zen-like calm and clarity, Masumoto relates how he learned to prune vines and survive a storm; to value the knowledge of old farmers and the rusty tools forgotten in the shed; and to take on a leadership role in his Buddhist community. He also shares life vividly in the present: how it feels really to sweat while you work; the way dust cakes on your neck when you're driving a tractor; the pleasure of rinsing off under a cold faucet; a grandmother's joy at hearing that her grandson will visit her birthplace; the way grapes are dried into raisins; and the way a family works together in the fields.Masumoto celebrates the continuity in which he harvests grapes from the vines that his grandfather planted. He also mourns the losses suffered during the Japanese-American internment before he was born. But by knitting together past and future, he holds on to what matters, despite the pressures of change.

About David Mas Masumoto

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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.
Published October 1, 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company. 302 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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As Masumoto prunes his grapevines, he thinks of his jiichan, his grandfather Masumoto, who arrived in California 100 years ago to work in a vineyard, though he’d never seen a grape.

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