Bernd Brunner

Taming Fruit - How Orchards Have Transformed the Land, Offered Sanctuary, and Inspired Creativity

Humans have always had a special appreciation for fruit that grows on trees. Could it be because orchard fruits grow closer to heaven than other plant products do? Or could it be because the places where these fruits grew were full of the interplay between light and shadow, the air was redolent with the sweet scent of blossom, and here we could retreat from the cares of daily life? Where did the types of fruits we grow in orchards come from and how did they develop? Bernd Brunner set out to find out how the search for desirable fruit has shaped us, and how we have shaped fruit by selecting those that appeal most to our senses of taste and delight.

The result is a readable, lavishly illustrated book about orchards as places that for millennia have stimulated human creativity and that have provided sustenance for both the body and the soul, the first to explore the history of orchards in such breadth. Historical illustrations—many hard to find elsewhere—show the varied aspects of orchards and the interactions of people and trees within them.

First published in English, translated from the German by Lori Lantz, more information will follow soon or feel free to enquire.

"This rich combination of glorious illustrations with cultural history, botany, anthropology and personal anecdote will enthral and delight anyone curious about the origins of orchards and the fruit they bear."
Helena Attlee, author of The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit (Penguin/Countryman) and Lev's Violin: An Italian Adventure (Particular Books/Pegasus)

"Taming Fruit is an enchanting journey through the world of orchards and botanical curiosities. We learn, among other things, about medieval orchards, picking cherries and apples, pomegranates and quinces. Brunner is a captivating guide, who gives us a remarkable menu of esoteric, and not so esoteric, botanical expertise. And we learn about sheep and orchard undergrowth into the bargain! Beautifully illustrated and written with infectious and cultured enthusiasm, anyone who is even a tentative gardener will cherish this lovely book."
Brian Fagan, author of The Intimate Bond (Bloomsbury)

"A beautiful exploration of the life-giving bonds between trees, fruits, and people. Brunner is an astute guide to the fascinating reciprocal relationships between orchards and human culture."
David George Haskell, author of Pulitzer finalist, The Forest Unseen, and Burroughs Medalist, The Songs of Trees (Penguin)

"Fruit was there at the beginning of the human story, Bernd Brunner argues in this crisply written and lushly illustrated book, and it’s been with us ever since—in birth and death, peace and war, art and myth, science and religion. Taming Fruit left me with the lingering urge to visit the grocery store and gaze at all of the fruits, stranger and more wonderful than I'd ever noticed."
Zach St. George, author of The Journeys of Trees (W. W. Norton)

Canada/USA/UK: Greystone Books

Germany: Knesebeck Verlag

China: Yilin Press

Taiwan: Faces Publications, a division of Cite