Friday, July 1, 2016

Toujours Provence

I remember the first time I read Toujours Provence, my introduction to Peter Mayle.  It was the summer after I'd graduated from college and was slowly emptying my apartment in Pittsburgh.  I spent a lot of time packing boxes and driving across the state, and even more looking for a job.  That still left a lot of time to spend time with my college friends, and to read.  Nearly 25 years later, Toujours Provence is as enjoyable as I remember it.  While Mayle felt the need to create a loose narrative framework for A Year in Provence, here he provides literary postcards of his life on the edge of the Luberon.  Singing toads, a truffle hunter training a pot-bellied pig, buried treasure, Mayle's then new-found fame - they're all fettered in their own essays, along with a dozen other topics.  And food.  Everything comes back to consumables, whether it's a birthday picnic, two lunches with the local gourmand, or a visit to the local wholesale market.  Sunny and breezily told (I assume like a spring day in Provence), Mayle's second travel collection surpass his first, in part because there's no thread to tie the essays together.   

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