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Paperback Long Ago in France: The Years in Dijon Book

ISBN: 0671755145

ISBN13: 9780671755140

Long Ago in France: The Years in Dijon

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In 1929, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher arrived in Dijon, the provincial capital of Burgundy and the gastronomical capital of France, there to be initiated into the ways of love and life. LONG AGO IN FRANCE is Fisher's exquisitely evocative, deliciously candid memoir of her three-year stay in Dijon. It is a delightful journey backward - in the grandest of company - into a voluptuous, genteel world that has vanished forever.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Dijon du Jour

With her usual wit and style, MFK Fisher brings the food and atmosphere of Dijon alive. It is a fun book, perfect as an introduction to a way of life that is both foreign and dated. The delights of the table set by an eccentric landlady and shared with a variety of characters from the building, are extravegant. Fisher also draws a picture of the town's restaurants, markets, and life. A good read.

Enjoyable, tantalizing

This is an enjoyable, tantalizing book, with some dull spots in the earlier chapters. It is an account of Fisher's 3 years in Dijon, where she moved in 1929 so that her new husband could pursue a doctorate. She was 20 years old, bright, pretty, charming, in love, and most of all, enthusiastic. The reader gets caught up in all this, so as to overlook the book's serious drawback. Fisher can write very nicely, but you learn much more about her landladies than her husband. Fisher says of her sister Norah, "she TOO speaks always with reserve" (caps mine). The book is written as if you are already acquainted with Fisher, as no doubt many readers are, but for the rest I would recommend, before starting the book, that they look up M.F.K. Fisher in Google and thereby get to the site about Fisher sponsored by Les Dames d'Escoffier International.

One of the best from America's 1st literary foodie

MFK Fisher holds a special place in the hearts of all `foodie' Americans. She was perhaps the 1st person to see the sense of writing food-based literary books and articles, and of course it's now a genre unto itself. But few have rivaled her beautiful prose, and I recall reading that she once said she considered it a day well-lived if she'd managed to compose one perfect sentence. To consider her just a food writer is to do her an injustice; she is a writer, first and foremost, who happens, sometimes, to write about food.Long Ago in France is a memoir of her years in Dijon in the 30s, a book full of rich wine, rich ideas, character portraits filled with rich detail. It's about Life, a life filled with joy, experience, food, travel, and memorable people. This book is a paean to a lost era.Highest recommendation.

A Reader's Feast

Between 1929 and 1932, young M.F.K. Fisher (later a famed chef and memoirist) and her husband Al Fisher lived and studied in Dijon, France. Here she discovered the people and the food of Burgundy, and she describes both with warmth, sensuality, and humor (without becoming overly sentimental: "It was there, I now understand, that I started to grow up, to study, to make love, to eat and drink, to be me and not what I was expected to be." Her writing is crisp and evocative. "He took the apple slices from the bowl one by one, almost faster than we could see, and shook off the wine and laid them in a great, beautiful whorl, from the outside to the center, as perfect as a snail shell. We said not a word. The music trembled in the room." Fisher helps the reader discover the beauty of our appetites. She writes of an old soldier who offers her chocolate: "The chocolate broke at first like gravel into many separate, disagreeable bits...Then they grew soft, and melted voluptuously." Then a doctor offers her bread, admonishing, "Never eat chocolate without bread, young lady!" There is a delicious denouement: " two minutes my mouth was full of fresh bread, and melting chocolate, and as we sat gingerly, the three of us, on the frozen hill...we peered shyly and silently at each other and chewed at one of the most satisfying things I have ever eaten..." This was a time of great importance for Fisher, and she generously shares her experiences in a richly satisfying book. It's a small treasure.

A ghost is born in Dijon

M.F.K. Fisher wrote some of the best prose in English--and this memoir is interesting because it documents her arrival and stay in Dijon as a student in the 20's. While some of the chapters were published later, in edited form, in other collections by Fisher, this book is valuable because it deals only with Fisher's time in Dijon. There is more detail about her stay with the Ollangniers, the French family who rented a room to Fisher and her husband Al while he worked on his doctorate. Fisher talks more about the students, professors and her daily life as she becomes, as she put it, a ghost. Perhaps by "ghost", Fisher meant that she knew, at that time, she would always leave a bit of her spirit forever in France. Her days in Dijon formed her as the writer she became, so if you are a Fisher fan, this is required reading.
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