Peter Mayle is the author of fifteen books, nine of them novels, including the beloved bestseller A Year in Provence. A recipient of the L gion d'Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions, he lived in Provence with his wife, Jennie, for more than twenty-five years. Mayle died in 2018.
After writing A Year in Provence , Mayle and his family have made themselves at home in the Midi, as these new tales reveal. The British author infuses his adventures with natural humor, whether the subject is larking with Provencal pals, an epicurean diner sur l'herbe , the tangy wine of the countryside, a concert by Pavarotti. Each account is pure enchantment. But Mayle exhibits anger too, particularly when reporting on the undetectable wretch who sets fires impossible to contain during the season of the mistral. Overall, however, the book features the satisfactions of life with good friends and fresh discoveries in that lovely part of France. Reading about them is the next best thing to being in the Midi, where almost ``every prospect pleases.'' (June)
For fans of his A Year in Provence ( LJ 4/1/90; ``Best Books of 1990,'' LJ 1/91), Mayle is back with more amusing tales of ``la vie en rose'' in the south of France. Writing with affectionate humor, he recounts such adventures as sneaking through British customs with a suitcase full of expensive truffles and digging for gold coins in his backyard with his wily and greedy neighbor. He encounters truly French eccentrics like Regis, the athlete gourmet who wears a track suit to enjoy his meals, and the ambitious Monsieur Salques, the choirmaster of the singing toads of St. Panteleon who plans to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution with an amphibian rendition of the ``Marseillaise.'' Describing a memorable 50th-birthday picnic that ends in a sudden rainstorm, Mayle conjures up hilarious images in vivid prose: ``Showing through a pair of once-white, once-opaque trousers, red-lettered knickers wished us all Merry Xmas.'' Recommended for all travel collections.-- Wilda Williams, ``Library Journal''
"Light and loving . . . a welcoming, happy book." --San Francisco Chronicle"Like returning to a country inn, where you know the owner, where they save your favorite room for you, and the bartender remembers what you drink. . . . Provence has been fortunate in its laureates." --The New York Times Book Review"Peter Mayle [is] something of a wonder . . . chronicling the scene around him in irresistible prose . . . the joys of a bountiful climate, brilliant sun and a splendid cuisine." --Time