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DGC Book Club – Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm, (2023) by David “Mas” Masumoto

August 15, 2024 @ 12:30 pm

Per Mas: “I discover a “lost” aunt, separated from our family due to racism and discrimination against the disabled. She had a mental disability due to childhood meningitis. She was taken away in 1942 when all Japanese Americans were considered the enemy and imprisoned. She then became a “ward” of the state. We believed she had died, but 70 years later found her alive and living a few miles from our family farm. How did she survive? Why was she kept hidden? How did both shame and resilience empower my family to forge forward in a land that did not want them? I am haunted and driven to explore my identity and the meaning of family—especially as farmers tied to the land. I uncover family secrets that bind us to a sense of history buried in the earth that we work and a sense of place that defines us.”

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Here’s also an interview on NPR about the book and Mas’ experience spurring him to write it:  https://www.npr.org/2024/03/15/1238578431/family-hospice-funeral-home-kindness

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Bonus!! Local connection: Masumoto, who was named to the National Arts Council (Board overseeing the National Endowment for the Arts), received a graduate degree from UCD in 1982.  See also: David Mas Masumoto – Wikipedia

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Event details:  From 12:30-1:00, members may join a pre-discussion brown bag lunch at the Senior Center.  At 1:00, we will begin our in person Book Club discussion.  Please check the door of Davis Genealogy Research Library that day for information on the location for either or both segments of this day’s events.

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Sourcing books:  To find a copy of the book(s), we recommend the Davis Public Library, Kindle, your local bookstore, eBay, AddAll.com, Better World Books, ThriftBooks and other online selling platforms for used books.

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During the Book Club Meeting, the next book will be selected. Click here for a list of what’s been suggested and what has already been discussed. Suggestions welcome. Email Suzanne.SPeterson at gmail.com.