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As They Were [Paperback]

M.F.K. Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

May 12 1983 Vintage
"Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher is a national treasure. For nearly 50 years she has been writing rare, fine prose about so many things that she is nearly impossible to define....In As They Were she has collected a number of essays -- she calls them 'reports' -- into an informal autobiography that wanders from Whittier, California, to the south of France." -- Newsweek

"She deserves the widest possible audience....The restaurants, hotels and markets she visits are aswarm with people and things, all of which she describes in fine detail, making the reader taste and hear and smell and see as few other writers can....Wherever she is, wherever she goes, she is grand company."

-- Chicago Sun-Times

"A breath of poetry wraps us as she relives for us a lifetime....She is the attentive spectator of her own life as well as its narrator." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

"To my mind, As They Were contains some of the best writing M.F.K. Fisher has ever done."

-- James Beard, Boston Globe

"Here are the voluptuous meals recalled by a woman who savored not only the food and wine but every detail of setting and nuance of conversation. Here, too, are meditations on travel by freighter....And here are the vivid evocations of places."


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As They Were + Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon + Gastronomical Me
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Product Description

From AudioFile

C.M. Hébert is the perfect ac-companiment to M.F.K. Fisher's delightful recollection of the highs and lows of world travel and French food. Hébert reads these warm, yet sophisticated, descriptions of feasts, forays, and friends with a wistfulness and longing one can imagine Fisher herself feeling as she remembers delights long past. Hébert's perfect French adds a nice touch to Fisher's exquisitely crafted essays, and her cadence captures Fisher's humor and sense of irony at every bend. Whether she's describing the best waiter she ever met, the toil of a difficult sea voyage, or the joys of her California childhood, Hébert delivers a beautiful performance, tempting all of the senses with Fisher's love of life. H.L.S. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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In the sixties, my fins old house in St. Helena seemed hollow, with the children gone. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesson to us all Jan. 14 2002
By jumpy1
Format:Paperback
What an engaging book of essays! I bought this on a hunch and am finding it simply absorbing. The stories are gently told and the insights hilarious, biting, kind, piercing. They are about people, towns, food, war, beauty, ugliness. I am even starting to understand the cultish following in the food community for MFK although her writings are as much about food as anything else. Her memories make me want to ask my mother and grandmother if it was like that for them, too. She speaks freely as if one is in the room with her thoughts, honored by the invitation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enlightening Dec 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A particularly special essay in this collection is Fisher's perspective on why she chose to live where she does. As with her choice of food and associates, Fisher demonstrates that where/how/why we call home is a decision which also demands a state of mindfulness and purpose. In the chapter, she also describes the death of neighboring trees due to severe weather. I think about this description frequently, as with many Fisher musings the viewpoint lingers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Essays on Living Well Jan. 27 1999
Format:Paperback
Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher writes about the pleasures of cooking and dining. But her stories of memorable meals, great recipes, and out-of-the-way restaurants are always presented in the context of the people and places she associates with them. Fisher's books are always autobiographies as well as travelogues, cook books and any number of other things. They defy categorization. The one thing they have in common is the superb writing of a master stylist. Her attention to detail, her observations and descriptions, are so rich that even a reader who has never had a particular interest in the subject matter of her essays is drawn into her fascinating world.
Oscar Wilde once wrote to the effect that great books cannot be judged by their subject matter or their philosophical bent, only by whether they are well written or not. By this criterion, Ms. Fisher is a great writer who deserves a wider audience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Essays on Living Well Jan. 27 1999
By irmbgrim@vba.va.gov - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher writes about the pleasures of cooking and dining. But her stories of memorable meals, great recipes, and out-of-the-way restaurants are always presented in the context of the people and places she associates with them. Fisher's books are always autobiographies as well as travelogues, cook books and any number of other things. They defy categorization. The one thing they have in common is the superb writing of a master stylist. Her attention to detail, her observations and descriptions, are so rich that even a reader who has never had a particular interest in the subject matter of her essays is drawn into her fascinating world.
Oscar Wilde once wrote to the effect that great books cannot be judged by their subject matter or their philosophical bent, only by whether they are well written or not. By this criterion, Ms. Fisher is a great writer who deserves a wider audience.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enlightening Dec 28 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A particularly special essay in this collection is Fisher's perspective on why she chose to live where she does. As with her choice of food and associates, Fisher demonstrates that where/how/why we call home is a decision which also demands a state of mindfulness and purpose. In the chapter, she also describes the death of neighboring trees due to severe weather. I think about this description frequently, as with many Fisher musings the viewpoint lingers.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesson to us all Jan. 14 2002
By jumpy1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an engaging book of essays! I bought this on a hunch and am finding it simply absorbing. The stories are gently told and the insights hilarious, biting, kind, piercing. They are about people, towns, food, war, beauty, ugliness. I am even starting to understand the cultish following in the food community for MFK although her writings are as much about food as anything else. Her memories make me want to ask my mother and grandmother if it was like that for them, too. She speaks freely as if one is in the room with her thoughts, honored by the invitation.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another M.F.K. Fisher winner May 25 2013
By Pesecito - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another wonderful read from the inimitable M.F.K. Fisher.
A bit of a sad topic to me but so beautifully written...artless and yet pure art!
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome Sept. 13 2012
By Bohemian Bon Vivant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While I'm generally a fan of M.F.K. Fisher, this particular collection just seems incredibly self-indulgent, and of no particular interest to anyone but Fisher herself. In that context, if one has read Fisher widely, it's just tedious to get through, and one can see why so many of her contemporaries in the culinary world brushed her off as not to be taken seriously.

The stories in this collection have largely appeared elsewhere, and one has the sense the collection was put together as a new title just to provide Ms. Fisher with an infusion of cash.

Try Two Towns in Provence instead. I love that one -- especially the Aix-en-Provence years, and revisiting Aix with her daughters.
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