More of the pleasures of a year in Provence, this text presents portraits of the pleasures of life in the Luberon.
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Happily, the Mayles knew when it was time to go home. Encore Provence resonates not only with the acute perspective of someone who is supremely glad to be back on French turf, but also with the wit and relief of a refugee who has a solid American yardstick by which to measure the good life. The Mayles had tried valiantly to adapt to American culture: they learned about California wines, they shopped by mail, they took vitamins, they tried to watch television, they attempted to watch their cholesterol; there was even a period when they tried to be good citizens and drink eight glasses of water a day.
Can the author of A Year in Provence andToujours Provence possibly have anything more to say about the sunny south of France? Yes, especially when he's chronicling his newfound dual roles as an expert in all things American ("we are in some way considered responsible for the spread of American tribal customs," he writes, "everything from le fast-food to les casquettes de baseball, which have begun to appear on previously bare French heads") and as a defender of all things Provencal.
Mayle sounds most defensive in a chapter devoted to former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, who penned a Times piece chronicling a bad vacation in Provence and then wrote off the entire region, concluding that she'd "been dreaming of a Provence that never existed." For Mayle, that Provence is clearly alive and well, if--as he aptly demonstrates in a lighthanded chapter entitled, "Eight Ways to Spend a Summer's Afternoon" (pretending to read, planning your own chateau)--you're in the right state of mind to savour it. --Kimberly Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.