A Francophile's Essential Handbook
By Peter Mayle
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400095698, 304pp.)
Publication Date: December 2, 2008
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The ultimate “dictionary” for lovers of Provence: Peter Mayle's personal selection of the foods, customs and words he finds most fascinating, curious, delicious, or just plain fun.
Though organized from A to Z, this is hardly a conventional work of reference. In more than 170 entries, Peter Mayle—bestselling author of A Year in Provence—writes about subjects as wide-ranging as architecture and zingue-zingue-zoun (in the local patois, a word meant to describe the sound of a violin). And, of course, he writes about food and drink: vin rosé, truffles, olives, melons, bouillabaisse, the cheese that killed a Roman emperor, even a cure for indigestion.
Provence A-Z is a delight for Peter Mayle's ever-growing audience and the perfect complement to any guidebook on Provence, or, for that matter, France.
Peter Mayle worked in advertising until he decided to live where he most longed to, Provence, and try his hand at writing. With the success of his first book describing his new life, A Year in Provence, his life took a notable turn for the better. This is his eleventh book including five novels. Recently, he received the Legion d'Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions. He has been living in Provence with his wife, Jennie, for 18 years now. A Good Year, Ridley Scott's film starring Russell Crowe based on Peter's novel of the same name, was out in 2006.
“Mayle's affection for lavender fields and languid lunched continues unabated-and so does his influence.”
“Mayle's magpie dictionary yields amusing facts . . . and useful information. . . . You'll soon succumb to his road-tested charm.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Whether he's smacking his lips in gustatory contentment or mock exasperation, Mayle's affection runneth over. . . . If there is anything charmless or depressing in all of Provence, its secret is safe with him.”
—The Boston Globe
“After nearly two decades of writing about the character and the characters of Provence, Mayle's love for this rich and colorful region is undiminished.”
—The Christian Science Monitor