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Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italyby Frances Mayes
Synopses & Reviews
Happiness? The color of it must be spring green, impossible to describe until I see a just-hatched lizard sunning on a stone. That color, the glowing green lizard skin, repeats in every new leaf. The regenerative power of nature explodes in every weed, stalk, branch. Working in the mild sun, I feel the green fuse of my body, too. Surges of energy, kaleidoscopic sunlight through the leaves, the soft breeze that makes me want to say the word "zephyr" — this mindless simplicity can be called happiness.
Having spent her summers in Tuscany for the past several years, Frances Mayes relished the opportunity to experience the pleasures of primavera, an Italian spring. A sabbatical from teaching in San Francisco allowed her to return to Cortona — and her beloved house, Bramasole — just as the first green appeared on the rocky hillsides.
Bella Tuscany, a companion volume to Under the Tuscan Sun, is her passionate and lyrical account of her continuing love affair with Italy. Now truly at home there, Mayes writes of her deepening connection to the land, her flourishing friendships with local people, the joys of art, food, and wine, and the rewards and occasional heartbreaks of her villa's ongoing restoration. It is also a memoir of a season of change, and of renewed possibility. As spring becomes summer she revives Bramasole's lush gardens, meets the challenges of learning a new language, tours regions from Sicily to the Veneto, and faces transitions in her family life. Filled with recipes from her Tuscan kitchen and written in the sensuous and evocative prose that has become her hallmark, Bella Tuscany is a celebration of the sweet life in Italy.
"A love letter to Italy written in precise and passionate language of near poetic density....A book to treasure, as the author so clearly treasures the life she engraves on our hearts." Susan Jacoby, Newsday
"Fall in love again with the charming people and countryside of Cortona in this evocative follow-up to Under the Tuscan Sun." People
"Frances Mayes is, before all else, a wonderful writer....She never loses sight of the fact that millenniums-old Tuscany, with its immemorial customs and folkways, is not to be domesticated or made familiar. Her Italy remains intransigently foreign, exotic, a continuing revelation of strangeness and unexpected beauties." Chicago Tribune
Continuing Mayes's account of her enchanting, ever-evolving life in Italy, Bella Tuscany presents the author truly at home as she invites readers back to savor more friendship, festivity, and food. Filled with recipes from her Tuscan kitchen and written in the sensuous prose that has become her hallmark, Bella Tuscany celebrates life's seasons of renewed possibility.
A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF UNDER MAGNOLIA
Frances Mayes, whose enchanting #1 New York Times bestseller Under the Tuscan Sun made the world fall in love with Tuscany, invites us back for a delightful new season of friendship, festivity, and food, there and throughout Italy.
About the Author
Frances Mayes is author of Under the Tuscan Sun, an Italian memoir; The Discovery of Poetry, a text for readers; and five books of poetry, most recently Ex Voto. A frequent contributor to food and travel publications, she divides her time between Cortona, Italy, and San Francisco, where she is Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. She is currently at work on a novel.
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