David Mas Masumoto

29th annual Key West Literary Seminar

—The Hungry Muse: An Exploration of Food in Literature—

January 6 - 16, 2011

David Mas Masumoto was born in 1954 and raised on his family’s farm outside of Del Rey in California’s Central Valley. A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows certified organic peaches, nectarines, grapes, and raisins. He is the author of books including Epitaph for a Peach, which won a Julia Child Cookbook Award and the San Francisco Review of Books Critics’ Choice Award, and was a finalist for the 1996 James Beard Foundation Food Writing Award.

Masumoto is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and has written articles for The New York Times MagazineUSA Today, and the Los Angeles Times. His other books include Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, and Harvest Son. He wrote, designed and curated the museum exhibition, “Country Voices, Three Generations of Family Farmers” which appeared at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. For his work in public policy and in literature, Masumoto has earned honors including a national Food and Society Policy Fellowship from the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, the James Clavell Japanese American National Literacy Award, and a Commonwealth Club of California silver medal for the California Book Awards.

Masumoto currently serves on the Statewide Leadership Council to the Public Policy Institute of California, and previously served as co-chair to the California Council for the Humanities board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in community development from U.C. Davis. A founding member of the California Association of Family Farmers, Masumoto lives with his wife, Marcy, and their two children, Nikiko and Korio, in the 90 year old farmhouse where he was raised.

Online Resources:

Masumoto Family Farm
“Eat, Memory: Family Heirloom,” from NYTimes
Simon & Schuster author page
WNYC Radio interview (video)

Selected Bibliography:

Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land (Free Press/Simon and Schuster 2009)

Four Seasons in Five Senses (W.W. Norton & Co. 2004)

Harvest Son: Planting Roots in American Soil (W.W. Norton & Co. 1998)

Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm (HarperCollins 1995)

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