Book Banter with Annabelle Tometich
April 11 • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
We are excited to welcome author Annabelle Tometich to Book Banter! We will be discussing her upcoming book, The Mango Tree: A Memoir of Fruit, Florida, and Felony.
“Smart and compelling, funny and devastating, The Mango Tree gets to the heart of what matters—our relationships with our families, our world and ultimately ourselves. This is the kind of memoir that stays with you long after the final page.” — Artis Henderson, author of Unremarried Widow
When journalist Annabelle Tometich picks up the phone one June morning, she isn’t expecting a collect call from an inmate at the Lee County Jail. And when she accepts, she certainly isn’t prepared to hear her mother’s voice on the other end of the line. However, explaining the situation to her younger siblings afterwards was easy; all she had to say was, “Mom shot at some guy. He was messing with her mangoes.” They immediately understood. Answering the questions of the breaking-news reporter—at the same newspaper where Annabelle worked as a restaurant critic––proved more difficult. Annabelle decided to go with a variation of the truth: it was complicated.
With clear-eyed compassion and piercing honesty, The Mango Tree is a family saga that navigates the tangled branches of Annabelle’s life, from her childhood days in an overflowing house flooded by balikbayan boxes, vegetation, and juicy mangoes, to her winding path from medical school hopeful to restaurant critic. It is a love letter to her fellow Filipino Americans, her lost younger self, and the beloved fruit tree at the heart of her family.
Annabelle Tometich went from medical-school flunky to line cook to journalist to author. She spent eighteen years as a food writer, editor, and restaurant critic for The News-Press in her hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, USA Today, Catapult, the Tampa Bay Times, and many more publications. Tometich has won more than a dozen awards for her stories, including first place for Features Writing from the Florida Society of News Editors in 2020. She (still) lives in Fort Myers with her husband, two children, and her ever-fiery Filipina mother. You can find her online at http://annabelleTM.com .