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Book of the Week

Each week, we'll let you know about the new releases the editors of O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading.
Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste

Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste

320 pages; Clarkson Potter
In the winter of 1970, the food writer M.F.K. Fisher headed to the Provençal city of Arles. It was a grim, depressing trip: restaurants were closed; hotel clerks were brusque; and Fisher, at age 62, was somewhat disenchanted with her life. Other culinary luminaries, such as Julia Child and James Beard, were also in France, and though all three met, dined, laughed and drank together at various times, each was in the midst of a very personal decision about the direction of their lives and their professions. Hard-core foodies will delight in how these choices ultimately influenced American cuisine (out with stiff, grande-dame French dining; in with a relaxed, international approach), and anyone who loves to eat will drool over descriptions of Child's butter-rubbed roasted chicken and Fisher's homemade dried tangerines. The author, Luke Barr, great-nephew of Fisher, used Fisher's personal diaries to examine her passion for redirecting life according to her inner compass, a move that was to cost her friends and even lovers. Required reading for anyone who fears a little life-upending change—even if they know change will bring happiness and relief.
— Leigh Newman

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