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M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A Memoir of Food and Friendship Paperback – August 15, 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this new edition of Ferrary's memoir of her years with the writer M. F. K. Fisher, the author sets herself a daunting task. She has to add somehow to the vast amount of autobiographical material that Fisher left behind. Fisher's eye for setting and for character was sharp and generally unforgiving, so most followers of Fisher's works harbor few illusions that require another's debunking. Ferrary's Fisher comes across as opinionated, daunting, and blunt, but rarely thoughtless or cruel. Fisher became cookery's grande dame for her masterful translation of Brillat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste and for her memoirs of food and of France. Her domination of the literature of food was ever tempered by her quirky tastes that deflated food snobbism and demystified the pleasures of the table. Her friendship with Ferrary as documented here consistently reflects Fisher's uncompromisingly honest outlook. Mark Knoblauch

Review

"If any one person influenced me to move to Provence, it was M.F.K. Fisher...Like many of her admirers, I'm sure, I often thought what a pleasure it would have been to meet her, even more after reading this memoir. There are writers who have said all they have to say in their writing, and so meeting them is something of a disappointment. But these glimpses of a great writer reveal a fascinating woman, an if there is ever a celestial lunch organized in the hereafter, I would clearly love to be with her at the table." --Peter Mayle, from the Introduction

"Thoroughly charming...she writes with love and respect of the writer she esteems and cherishes. Admirers of M.F.K. Fisher's work will be grateful for this warm appreciation." --The New York Times
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312194420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312194420
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,787,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This charming little memoir is the perfect addition to the library of any M.F.K. Fisher admirer or travel essay lover. Ferrary and close friend Frances Mayes(author of Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany)befriended Fisher in the later years of her life while Fisher lived in "Last House." Ferrary shares loving, yet honest vignettes that reveal Fisher to be far from the sweet little old lady that many fans imagined. With great tenderness, Ferrary shows us the physical struggles that this indomitable woman fought against declining health. This all too brief volume makes the reader yearn to have been a part of those wonderous visits and at the same time manages to make us feel we were. The experience is not to be missed.
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Format: Paperback
This book struck me as pretty dishonest on the part of the author. It is never clear that she actually told Fisher that she was writing a book about her. Yet, even worse is how several vignettes set up Fisher in order to expose to the reader Fisher's flawed personality but the author so often turns a blind eye to her own behavior and motivations that her scenarios can't be trusted. For instance, the author makes a big point of discussing Fisher's great command of the backhanded compliment. But at least one of the examples the author uses to show this is not a backhanded compliment at all but a straight forward compliment.

If Fisher was so difficult, why did the author keep going back for more? I don't think that Fisher was a saint but I also don't believe that the author was without a lot of ambition of her own. Hence her protracted relationship with this famous writer for her own use.

I know that famous people are often used by others -- usually when the famous people have gotten old and are lonely. But it is dispiriting to see it in action.
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Format: Paperback
You don't get much of M.F.K. Fisher's colorful history, any deeply revealed gossip or scandal. And you leave the book knowing that's exactly what makes this a great read. It's a chronicle of an always loving, sometimes difficult friendship, where the subject has definite boundaries you just do not cross. A lovely, if light memoir.
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