2016-2017 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Title
How do you become a farmer? The real questions are: What kind of person do you want to be? Are you willing to change? How do you learn? What is your vision for the future? In this poignant collection of essays, Epitaph for a Peach author David Mas Masumoto gets ready to hand his eighty-acre organic farm to his daughter, Nikiko, after four decades of working the land. Echoing Nikiko’s words that “all of the gifts I have received from this life are not only worthy of sharing, but must be shared,” Mas reflects on topics as far ranging as the art of pruning, climate change, and the prejudice his family faced during and after World War II: essays that, whether humorous or heartbreaking, explore what it means to pass something on. Nikiko’s voice is present too, as she relates the myriad lessons she has learned from her father in preparation for running the farm as a queer mixed-race woman. Both farmers feel less than totally set for the future that lies ahead; indeed, Changing Season addresses the uncertain future of small-scale agriculture in California. What is unquestionable, though, is the family’s love for their vocation—and for each other.