Cover image for Under the Tuscan sun
Title:
Under the Tuscan sun
Author:
Mayes, Frances.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, [1998]

℗1998
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (360 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780553455984
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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XX(1249217.22) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Summary

Summary

Frances Mayes--widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer--opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In sensuous and evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. An accomplished cook and food writer, Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which are included in this audio. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun is a feast for all senses.


Author Notes

A native of Georgia, Frances Mayes received a B.A. from the University of Florida and an M.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a creative writing professor at San Francisco State University.

Mayes' memoir "Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy," about buying and restoring an abandoned villa in Cortona, was a national best seller in 1996. It became the basis of a feature film of the same name in 2003 starring Diane Lane.

In addition her travel writing, Frances Mayes is the author of six books of poetry and is a respected essayist and gourmet cook. Frances' title Under Magnolia is a 2015 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It takes a determined effort to read this account of restoring and enjoying a Tuscan farmhouse without experiencing a violent attack of adolescent jealousy. Why her and not me, you'll be screaming as writer and professor Mayes describes languorous lunches on the patio, local wine flowing freely and olive pits casually pitched toward the nearby stone wall. Yes, there were problems--wells running dry, workers vanishing--but the image Mayes creates of her house, the Italian countryside, and her summers there with fellow professor Ed and sundry visitors is nothing short of idyllic: a real-life version of the film Stealing Beauty, but without the funny-looking sculpture scarring the landscape. Mayes' delightful recipes, evocative descriptions of the nearby village of Cortona, and thoughtful musings on the Italian spirit only add to the pleasure. This is armchair travel at its most enticing. Can we really blame ourselves for wanting to strap Mayes down in some ratty armchair while we go live in her farmhouse? (Reviewed Sept. 15, 1996)0811808424Bill Ott


Publisher's Weekly Review

Mayes's favorite guide to Northern Italy allots seven pages to the town of Cortona, where she owns a house. But here she finds considerably more to say about it than that, all of it so enchanting that an armchair traveler will find it hard to resist jumping out of the chair and following in her footsteps. The recently divorced author is euphoric about the old house in the Tuscan hills that she and her new lover renovated and now live in during summer vacations and on holidays. A poet, food-and-travel writer, Italophile and chair of the creative writing department at San Francisco State University, Mayes is a fine wordsmith and an exemplary companion whose delight in a brick floor she has just waxed is as contagious as her pleasure in the landscape, architecture and life of the village. Not the least of the charms of her book are the recipes for delicious meals she has made. Above all, her observations about being at home in two very different cultures are sharp and wise. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In a carefully written story, poet Mayes (Ex Voto, Lost Roads, 1995), who chairs the creative writing department at San Francisco State University, recounts the purchase and renovation of an abandoned Tuscan villa. She begins with the 1990 search with her companion, Ed, for a summer home to take the place of the rented farmhouses of past years. They finally decide on Bramasole ("Yearning for the Sun"), a villa with 17 rooms and a garden that has been standing empty for 30 years. There is the ordeal of getting money transferred via the tangled Italian banking system, as well as bringing together the owner, builders, and government officials to get the necessary work done. The daunting process requires several years. Meanwhile, Mayes finds Italian country life a healthy antidote to hectic San Francisco, enjoying, for example, the fruits of her own garden, friends in the village, and the first olive harvest. This is an unusual memoir of one woman's challenge to herself and its successful transformation into a satisfying opportunity to improve the quality of her life.‘William R. Smith, Johns Hopkins Univ. Lib., Baltimore (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

In 1990, our first summer here, I bought an oversized blank book with Florentine paper on the cover and blue leather binding.  On the first page I wrote ITALY.  The book looked as though it should have immortal poetry in it but I began with lists of wildflowers, lists of projects, new words, sketches of tile in Pompeii.  I described rooms,  trees, bird calls.  I added planting advice, "Plant sunflowers when the moon crosses Libra," although I had no clue myself as to when that might be.  I wrote about the people we met and the food we cooked.  The book became a chronicle of our first four years here.  Today it is stuffed with menus, postcards of paintings, a drawing of a floor plan of an abbey, Italian poems, and diagrams of the garden.  Because it is thick, I still have room in it for a few more summers.  Now the blue book has become Under the Tuscan Sun, a natural outgrowth of my first pleasures here.  Restoring then improving the house, transforming an overgrown jungle into its proper function as a farm for olives and grapes, exploring the layers and layers of Tuscany and Umbria, cooking in a foreign kitchen and discovering the many links between food and the culture--these intense joys frame the deeper pleasure of learning to live another kind of life.  To bury the grape tendril in such a way that it shoots out new growth I recognize easily as a metaphor for the way life must change from time to time if we are to go forward in our thinking.      From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpted from Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.