Adam Gollner sees the environment through the lens of.well.fruit. Fruits today are a part of everyday life. In the past, they were utmost rarities and luxury items. Delicious, medicinal, hallucinogenic, and lethal, fruits have led nations to war, fueled dictatorships, and lured people into new worlds.
The author of “The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce and Adventure,” Gollner explores ecological issues in the incredible diversity of fruit on the planet. His book just won the 2008 Quebec Writer’s Federation: McAuslan First Book Prize in Canada and foreign rights have been sold to Japan, Brazil, China, Korea, and the UK.
The book is also being made into a film by Yung Chang, whose debut film “Up the Yangtze” was just nominated for an Independent Spirit award for best documentary.
In his writing, as in his live presentations, Gollner brings nature and science to life by telling the engrossing story of Earth’s most desired foods. He draws audiences into a Willy Wonka-like world with mangos that taste like pia coladas, orange cloudberries, peanut butter fruits, and the miracle fruit that turns everything sour sweet and make lemons taste like lemonade. Describing a cast of characters as varied and magical as the fruit -smugglers, inventors, explorers and epicures-he unveils the mysterious universe of fruit from the jungles of Borneo to the prized orchards of Florida and American supermarkets.
Gollner, a correspondent for Gourmet Magazine, examines the fruits we eat and explains why we eat them for scientific, economic, and aesthetic reasons. He traces the life of mass-produced fruits and how they are created, grown, and marketed. In addition, he explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored and even forbidden in the Western world.
Audiences are mesmerized as much by his stories as they are by the ultra exotic fruits he brings as props. Beyond a sense of wonder, Gollner also delivers insights into the future of food and its implications on the environment from how does eating locally affect developing nations to the prospect that traditional fruit breeding methods trump genetic engineering. Lively, well-informed and erudite, Gollner is a naturally gifted speaker.
“You’ll delight in Adam Leith Gollner’s globe-trotting adventures seeking exotic produce,” says Entertainment Weekly. “A rollicking account.there is much more to the world of fruit than the bland varieties on our supermarket shelves,” claims Publishers Weekly. “The talents of a food writer, investigative journalist, poet, travel writer, and humorist grafted onto one unusual specimen. Long may he thrive,” comments The New York Times Book Review.
His writing appears in The New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Apptit, Orion Magazine, and Good Magazine. Gollner lives in Montreal.