‘Peach’ author brings passion to speech
Have you seen a ripe peach, the day it’s to be picked, in the early morning sunlight?
The light reflects and refracts on the fuzz, and each piece of fuzz is like a little prism, and the fruit literally glows. The fruit g-l-o-w-s!
So said David Mas Masumoto, author of “Epitaph for a Peach,” with a passion and a wide-eyed wonder on his face reminiscent of a child describing an angel. It’s the kind of intense passion that runs through every passage of his memoir, the book chosen for the Nevada County Reads program this year. And Masumoto’s words on fruit-farming – especially peach-growing – are tempered with unmistakable authenticity, as he is an organic peach and grape farmer near Fresno.
“The story (of “Epitaph for a Peach”) is about this wonderful tasting peach (the Sun Crest Peach) that becomes homeless,” Masumoto said. “And the book is about trying to find a home for this peach, and, of course, along that journey you discover many things about yourself, the farm, your family and the community.”
Since January, the community has been involved in various events related to the Nevada County Reads program, including the tour of a local peach orchard, and watching the Walt Disney Pictures animated film James and the Giant Peach. On Tuesday afternoon’s “Have tea with the author,” Masumoto even passed around small jars of peach jam to the audience so that they could taste a spoonful.
“We have to do more reading,” said Terry McAteer, Nevada County superintendent of schools, about the purpose of having the program. “National statistics show reading is dying because of TV. Nationwide only 46 percent of Americans read one or more books a year.”
This is the second year of the Nevada County Reads program. It seems to have an impact on book sales, as the “Epitaph for a Peach” sold several copies in local bookstores.
“We’ve got lot of positive comments,” said Samantha Cramer, clerk at The Book Seller in Grass Valley. “Most people seemed to like the book. It’s very well-written. We sold a lot of copies.”
Stacey Colins, owner of Harmony Books in Nevada City, agreed.
“Everyone loves the book,” she said. “He’s a very poetic writer – beautiful language … gentle.”
For Masumoto, visiting Nevada County has been “just wonderful.”
“It’s delightful because I am speaking with people who have memories,” he said. “It’s the difference between speaking to an audience who has never tasted a great peach. These are people who have. It’s like speak(ing on) writing about love to people who have loved and it’s so different.”
To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail email@example.com or 477-4229.
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