Following on from the international bestseller, Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes returns with the long-awaited memoir of her Southern childhood, Under Magnolia.
Growing up, Frances Mayes longed to leave the small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia, but now she's been drawn back to explore her past. From her spirited, secretive childhood to her escape from Fitzgerald, Mayes recounts the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family with warmth and humour: her beautiful yet fragile mother; her unpredictable father; grandparents Daddy Jack and Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances's confidante 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. It's an ode to the South as an intense and (then) isolated place and to the people who lived their passionate lives there. The book is populated with a cast of intrinsically southern characters"fatalistic, ribald, eccentric, and big-hearted.
Frances Mayes is the author of four books about Tuscany, as well as poetry and a novel, Swan. The now-classic memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun, which was an Australian and New York Times bestseller and which became a film starring Diane Lane, was followed by Bella Tuscany. Formerly a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, where she directed The Poetry Center and chaired the Department of Creative Writing, Mayes now devotes herself full time to writing. She divides her time between homes in Italy and North Carolina.
Author: Frances Mayes