320 pages, 8.5 × 6 × 1.1 in
October 22, 2013
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307718344
ISBN - 13: 9780307718341
Read from the Book
1All AloneDecember 20, 1970m. f. k. fisher walked into the lobby at the Hotel Nord-Pinus in Arles trailed by a bellhop.Famously beautiful in her youth—she’d been photographed by Man Ray, and peered out glamorously from her book jackets—M.F. was still a striking woman. Her long gray hair was pinned up in an elegant twist at the back of her head, her eyebrows were pencil thin, and she was dressed in a tailored Marchesa di Grésy suit and a wool overcoat. She made her way to the front desk to check in. The decor was Provençal rustic, almost cliché, with tiled floors and wrought-iron chandeliers. She’d been here years ago, and it hadn’t changed a bit. Her heels made echoing noises in the empty lobby. It was the week before Christmas 1970, and the weather was unusually cold. She had the distinct impression of being the only guest at the hotel. The place was a tomb.The tall man at the front desk was vaguely hostile. He was sullen, but, then, that seemed to be the default posture of French service personnel in general, at least when it came to Americans during the off season. Veiled contempt. He explained that the room she had written ahead to request—one facing the Place du Forum—would be too cold at this time of year. He did not apologize for the lack of heat, he simply stated it as a fact.She asked to see for herself, and he was right: the heat was off in that part of the hotel, which was noticeably colder. And so she chose a room at the back of the building, on the first floor. I
From the Publisher
Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
About the Author
Luke Barr is an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine. A great-nephew of M.F.K. Fisher, he was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Switzerland, and graduated from Harvard. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two daughters.
“The book’s real success is in transporting the reader back to a pivotal time, in bringing it to life again. It is a nostalgic, lovely read.” —Boston Globe “A fascinating narrative.” —New York Times “Required reading for anyone who fears a little life-upending change—even if they know change will bring happiness and relief.” —Oprah.com “An enjoyable and perceptive group biography that reads as fluently as a novel.” —The New Yorker “Barr’s careful presentation of his characters’ trajectories reveal[s] Provence as an important work of cultural history in the guise of a foodie treat.” —Slate “The interplay of these four fiercely independent personalities makes this book a guilty pleasure.” —Wall Street Journal “Delightful fodder for foodies.” —Publishers Weekly“Luke Barr has inherited the clear and inimitable voice of his great-aunt M.F.K. Fisher, and deftly portrays a crucial turning point in the history of food in America with humor, intimacy and deep perception. This book is beautifully written and totally fascinating to me, because these were my mentors—they inspired a generation of cooks in this country.” —Alice Waters “Luke Barr conjures the past and pries open the window on a little known moment in time that had profound implications on how we live today. With an insider’s access, a detective’s curiosity, and a poet’s sensitivity, he illuminates a culinary clique that not only changed the way we eat, but how we think about food. Provence, 1970 is as much a