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A Year in Provence


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About the Author

Peter Mayle is the author of fifteen books, nine of them novels, including the beloved bestseller A Year in Provence. A recipient of the Legion 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.


An amusing account of an English couple's first year as residents of rural Provence, from the unpleasantness of the winter mistral to the transgressions of summer tourists. Since the old farmhouse they purchased needed repairs, they were immediately beset with problems in dealing with the foibles of local craftspeople and officialdom, not to mention the neighbors--human and animal. Nowhere in France is the consumption of food and drink taken more seriously, and food preparation, dining, and wining anecdotes are prominent in virtually every chapter. A Francophile's delight, this is a highly entertaining book which also teaches a lesson in social life and customs. Recommended for most collections. Mayle is the author of such popular books for children as Where Did I Come From and What's Happening to Me. --Ed.-- Sondra Brunhumer, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo

The author describes his first 12 months in Provence, after he and his wife have abandoned England for an 18th-century farmhouse in the Luberon Mountains. Throwing themselves into the life of this rural region, they master the local customs, gain partial understanding of their neighbors' patois, overcome the frustrations of French bureaucracy, and learn to deal with workmen who operate on the idiosyncratic Provencal sense of time. In nimble prose, Mayle, columnist for GQ , captures the humorous aspects of visits to markets, vineyards and goat races, and hunting for mushrooms. Even donating blood is an occasion for fun. The Provencal cuisine is Mayle's leitmotif, however. He opens with an account of a memorable New Year's lunch, ends with an appreciation of an impromptu Christmas dinner, and describes just about every meal eaten during the months in between. His adventures, gastronomic and otherwise, are thoroughly entertaining. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)

"Delightful." --The Washington Post "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence." --George Lang "Engaging, funny and richly appreciative." --The New York Times Book Review "Stylish, witty, delightfully readable." --The Sunday Times (London) "Fascinating." --Christian Science Monitor "I really loved this book." --Julia Child

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