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Frances Mayes
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A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller

Frances Mayes.
Publisher Broadway  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780767910064
Pages/Publication Date 420/2006
Daedalus Item Code 31301
This item is not available.
With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and the Mediterranean—Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. Frances Mayes creates a traveler's year, taking up residence and exploring how life is lived in these places—arranged by the seasons of her stay—and finding new discoveries and sensory pleasures in even the most well-trod destinations.

"Mayes ... lives a blessedly split life—going back and forth between northern California and Cortona, Italy, which provides her Tuscan sunshine. It is from these bases that she and her husband, Ed, venture forth to the places some will find too familiar—Scotland, the Greek islands, Naples. But paradoxically, it is just this sticking to well-trod ground that is one of the book's strengths.... When Mayes is at her best, she proves the point that a good writer, a good traveler, can always come up with new insights.... Her talk of the painter Mantegna and of Shakespeare (in English, Mantova is Mantua, where Romeo awaits news of Juliet) and of the powerful ruling Gonzaga family adds depth and texture to her narrative. (You find yourself making a mental note to plan a visit to the city and to re-read Romeo and Juliet on the way there.)... Among Mayes's most thought-provoking passages are the ones in which she faces the least Western cultures of her travels: a visit to the city of Fez in Morocco and another cruise (of a very different sort) in a traditional wooden gulet along Turkey's Lycian coast. Her penchant for historical detail and her keen observer's eye stand her in particularly good stead in these less familiar surroundings. She also does well when she draws back the curtain on her emotional life, notably during the chapter on Scotland, in which she ruminates on friendships over the passage of time. The friends with whom she is sharing her house-rental are of long standing, but seen infrequently now.... Her thoughts here are interesting, real, honestly felt."—Washington Post

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