Toby Sonneman

Author will sign copies of her newest book, Lemon: A Global History, detailing the origins of the tangy fruit.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 7 p.m.

Where: Chaucer's Books, 3321 State St., Santa Barbara

Cost: Free

Age limit: All ages

Categories: Lectures & Workshops: Book Signings


From its origin in India to an orchard in Southern California, the lemon has a great story to tell, a journey intertwining the East and the West, the Old World and the New.

In Lemon Toby Sonneman traces the remarkable adventures of the lemon in the midst of human drama over the last millennium. On this odyssey, she reveals the fascinating relationship between people -- Jews, Muslims and Christians; explorers and traders; botanists and plant hunters; farmers and physicians; conquerors and cooks -- and an extraordinary fruit.

Readers learn about the life and habits of the fragrant lemon, and discover the mysteries of its ancestor, the citron, sacred to many religions. Lemon: A Global History follows the lemon's history and culture, from its cultivation and medicinal applications by Arabs, Jews and Christians in the Mediterranean to Sicilian immigrants sellling lemonade on the streets of New Orleans. Along the way, they'll meet a medieval Arab-Jewish physician who wrote a treatise on lemons; European explorers and sailors -- from Columbus and Magellan to the lemonade-quaffing British "Limeys" who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar -- Dutch painters and Parisian lemonade vendors of the 1600s, and contemporary Italian and Californian farmers, botanists, purveyors and chefs.

The historical and contemporary account of Lemon takes place in the romantic locales where lemons thrive, from the lemon groves of Southern California and the Coachella Desert to Sicily, the historical and geographical crossroads of the Mediterranean, to Italy's beautiful Amalfi Coast where the world's most exquisite lemons grow on terraced hillsides and are considered a vital element of both culture and cuisine.

Toby Sonneman is the author of "Fruit Fields in My Blood: Okie Migrants in the West" and "Shared Sorrows: A Gypsy Family Remembers the Holocaust". She is a native of Chicago and currently teaches journalism in the Pacific Northwest, with frequent travels to the lemon growing areas of California and Italy.

Phone: 805-682-6787

Event posted Jan. 8, 2013
Last updated Jan. 9, 2013


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