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Frances Mayes Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Collections

Sunday in Another Country (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
January 6, Quarter of Four (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
After Such Pleasures (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Arts of Fire (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gold Over Blue (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hours (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Summer (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ex Voto (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Peach and Glass (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Discovery of Poetry (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under the Tuscan Sun (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bella Tuscany (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Tuscany (With: Edward Mayes) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bringing Tuscany Home (With: Edward Mayes) (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Year in the World (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Greek Expectations (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Every Day in Tuscany (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Passionate Traveler Journal (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tuscan Sun Cookbook (With: Edward Mayes) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under Magnolia (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
See You in the Piazza (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Always Italy (With: Ondine Cohane) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Place in the World (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pasta Veloce (With: Susan Wyler) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Georgia Voices(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Travel Writing 2002(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Frances Mayes is a poetry, travel, memoirs, and biography fiction author who was born during the 1940s where she was brought up in Fitzgerald a small town in Georgia. She was a bookworm from very early on in her childhood and used to spend hours reading Nancy Drew mysteries in her backyard.

In 1958, Frances left her hometown and moved to Virginia to attend the Randolph-Macon College but she would ultimately get her English undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.

She met her husband while she was at university and would then proceed to work as a computer research scientist. During the early 1960s, the couple moved to California where Mayes continued with her studies and finally got her graduate degree from the San Francisco State University.

She would, later on, teach at the institution and in 1977 published “Sunday in Another Country” her first poetry collection. She would remain an obscure poet even with several volumes to her name. During this time he rose to become the head of the university’s creative writing department.

She finally got some recognition when she published works drawing heavily from her Southern roots including the 1984 tome “Hours” and the 1979 published “After Such Pleasures.”

Despite getting favorable critical reviews for her verse, Frances Mayes would remain in relative obscurity for years. It was only after her divorce in 1988 that her life changed.

During her summer breaks, Frances used to spend time in Italy but when she got divorced, she decided to buy a permanent address there using her divorce settlement money.

She had found a two-and-a-half century-old villa near Cortona in 1989 and loved that it was just 60 miles from the Tuscan capital of Florence. The villa was one of many that had lain abandoned for generations as Italians left for the cities.
Moreover, the high taxes the government levied on such properties made many people feel it was too expensive to maintain their venerable ancestral homes. Mayes paid handsomely for the Bramasole home but she reasoned that it was cheaper than getting something on the California coast.

Together with Ed Kleinschidt who is her boyfriend and fellow academic, they begin restoring the property by working with the local artisans. She also starts to journal the renovation process and in the process began chronicling her passion for the Tuscan hills and the many idyllic days she spent there.

Mayes started writing New York Times articles about the charms of Tuscany and Florence in 1992. She had a very good time writing one particula article so she began penning essays and chapters that would be part of her debut memoir “Under the Tuscan Sun” which was published by “San Francisco’s Chronicle Books.”

Alida Becker the New York Times reviewer said the work was conversational and casual and the chapters are full of cooks and craftsmen as they celebrate the voluptuousness of the Italian countryside.

Becker noted Frances Mayes’ passion for Italy which was her adopted land. She said that she writes some gushy observations that feel like they were written by a besotted loved thus providing very vivid and appealing imagery.
It was also during this time that she penned the manuscript for “Swan” her debut long-form fiction that was published in 2002 by Broadway.

In “Under the Tuscan Sun,” we get to learn of Frances Mayes passion for the land of Tuscany that she came to call home. After spending several summers in Tuscany, Mayes developed a love and passion for the pleasures of Italian spring and the pleasures of primavera.
Since she had taken leave from teaching, she headed to Bramasole her new home just as the first shoots were appearing on the hillsides. She thus began writing lyrical and passionate accounts of her continuing love affair with Tuscany.
She has now made Italy her true home and her writing show her deep connection with the land, her thriving friendship with the locals, the joys of wine, food, and art, and the occasional heartbreak and reward of renovating and restoring her ancient villa.
Bella Tuscany is also a memoir that speaks of renewed possibility and heralds a season of change. As spring turns into summer, she turns the property into lush gardens even as he meets the challenges of learning Italian, tours Veneto and Sicily, and deals with family transition.

The author is not all about Renaissance churches and sweeping vistas but rather the details of daily living, the neighbors and friends, drinks and food, and frustrations and joys of gardening and the joys of the land.

Frances Mayes’ work “Bella Tuscany” is a book that lulls its readers into the restorative beauty of the Italian countryside. Writing from her villa she writes with a food lover’s heart and a writer’s mind. Effortlessly, she recreates the sounds, sights, tastes, and characters that live in Tuscany.
Frances and her husband continue to work on the restoration of the ancient villa in the country. They are determined to ensure it is a place that tells of the property’s luxury, efficiency, and authenticity.
Mayes and her husband are still renovating their farmhouse in the country and all they care about is the villa’s luxury, efficiency, and authenticity.

They nosh on local beans and nurture wildflowers while visiting the pottery shops to find barrels and serving dishes they intend to use in the making of limoncello.
Still undertaking an Italian education as an American, the author expertly peppers in observations and reflections of an outsider looking in.

They are constantly beckoned by their lives in San Francisco and it is this tug of war that makes for a bittersweet story that tells us we should chase our dreams no matter how unachievable they may seem.

“Women in Sunlight” by Frances Mayes tells of four American strangers whose lives change in an exceptional year as they bond in Italy.

The lead in the novel is an ex-pat and writer named Kit who has been living in San Rocco a small Italian town for more than a decade. Her life is pleasantly interrupted when three American reties come to live in the property next to hers.
Kit has been working on the biography of Margaret Merill the novelist that had been her mentor and close friend for about ten years.

The arrival of the three women hits her like a curveball. The women have been fast friends living in the US and had decided to take some time off from the State and spend some time in Tuscany.
As Kit helps her new friends settle in their new home she constantly gets reminders of why she loves her adopted home as much as she does.

Within a year all of them will enter a new phase as they become fast friends who come together to enjoy the Italian countryside.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Frances Mayes

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