Poet and university writing instructor Georgia-born Frances Mayes might be best known for her work Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy. Many dream of settling into a small European village, restoring a falling-down house and befriending neighbors, but this author actually did it and her glorious book, full of Italian sights, sounds and tastes, hit a chord with readers.
Armchair travelers, and perhaps particularly the ladies with wanderlust, will also enjoy Mayes’ other books on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library. The sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun is Bella Tuscany, where our intrepid author returns to her home to garden, cook, learn the language and live the simple life. In Tuscany celebrates, with color photos, the food, farms, markets and festivals of this much-loved Italian region. Every Day in Tuscany highlights Maye’s cooking skills with recipes made in her restored kitchen with produce from her garden.
Mayes goes on the road in A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler and visits not only other Mediterranean countries, including Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey, but also travels north to the British Isles. Talking about the culinary traditions of each country, she also highlights the culture, history and geography of each.
Defying Thomas Wolfe, who said, “You can’t go home again,” Mayes’s most recent memoir is about returning to the place where she grew up. In Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir she revels in the memories and family members from her youth and she explores the places and people that contributed to the person she became.