‘I was a brash newcomer to it, and yet when I first felt the rhythm of its streets and smelled its ancient smells, I said, “Of course,” for I was once more in my own place, an invader of what was already mine.’
M.F.K. Fisher moved to Aix-en-Provence with her daughters after the Second World War. In Map of Another Town, she traces the history of this ancient and famous town, known for its tree-lined avenues, pretty fountains and ornate façades. Beyond the tourist sights, Fisher introduces us to its inhabitants: the waiters and landladies, down-and-outs and local characters – all recovering from the affects of the war in a drastically new France.
A companion piece to The Gastronomical Me, in this memoir Fisher finds herself alone, older and with two small children to care for, while at the same time discovering a sense of belonging and acceptance. This is an intimate portrait of a place, which is also a self-portrait. As Fisher writes: ‘Here before me now is my picture, my map, of a place and therefore myself.’
‘Her writing makes your mouth water.’ – Financial Times
‘I do not know of anyone in the United States who writes better prose. – W.H. Auden
‘She is not just a great food writer. She is a great writer, full stop.’ – Rachel Cooke, Observer
‘Every time I return to M.F.K. Fisher – and she is the most re-readable of all prose stylists – I am struck that she tells you all the vital stuff that other food writers leave out. Her books are full of private cravings.’ – Bee Wilson, author of First Bite