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Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes - Excerpt

Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes - Excerpt

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A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life.


The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family.

From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.

Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.

To read more about Frances Mayes, please visit www.FrancesMayesBooks.com or Crown Publishing at www.crownpublishing.com.
A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life.


The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family.

From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell.

Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.

To read more about Frances Mayes, please visit www.FrancesMayesBooks.com or Crown Publishing at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Published by: Crown Publishing Group on Mar 03, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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04/07/2014

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Copyright © 2014 by Frances MayesAll rights reserved.Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.www.crownpublishing.comCROWN and the Crown colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLCLibrary of Congress Cataloging- in- Publication DataMayes, Frances. Under magnolia: a southern memoir/Frances Mayes. pages cm1. Mayes, Frances. 2. Authors, American—20th century—Biography. 3. Authors, American—21st century—Biography. I. Title. PS3563.A956Z46 2014 811'.54—dc23 [B] 2013042448ISBN 978- 0- 307- 88591- 3 eISBN 978- 0- 307- 88593- 7 Printed in the United States of America
Book design by Elizabeth RendfleischPhotographs courtesy of the author  Jacket design by Elena Giavaldi  Jacket photographs: (magnolia) Georg Dionysius Ehret/Getty; (tree) The Granger Collection, NYC. All rights reserved; (plant) ullstein bild/The Granger Collection, NYC. All rights reserved; (map) Historic Map Works LLC/Getty Images; (stamp) Georgia Brown Thrasher and Charokee Rose © 1982 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved. Used with permission; (young Frances, Frances’s mother, Frances’s father, house) courtesy of the author 
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