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Last House: Reflections, Dreams, and Observations, 1943-1991 [Paperback]

M.F.K. Fisher
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 21 1997
Along with To Begin Again and Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me, this anthology was the last project M.F.K. Fisher worked on before her death in 1992. Last House presents a frank, wry, and revealing portrait of Fisher's life, her loves, and herself. 304 pp.

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From Library Journal

This is the last book written by Fisher prior to her death in 1992?and her third volume of memoirs, following To Begin Again (LJ 10/15/92) and Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me (LJ 9/1/93). Last House is a collection of 68 short pieces written over the last 48 years of Fisher's life, 46 of them written in the 1980s. Only three of the pieces have been previously published. This last memoir is a collection of random thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences related to such things as bugs, death, dreams, strip searches, sleeping pills, meals, suicide, and sleep. Fisher exudes a bittersweet tone that is both calming and unsettling as she writes frankly about the distastefulness of living with and caring for her elderly father; her attitudes toward people who like her; the frustration of living, aging, and dying; and her furstration and anger at being a writer unable to read, write, or speak as arthritis and Parkinson's disease overtake her. Although a few of the earlier pieces elude clear meaning and purpose, most of this collection should be read for its frankness and realism, particularly by the aging and by those caring for the aged or terminally ill.?Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

M. F. K. Fisher (1908^-92) brought great pleasure to lovers of fine prose and good food. A frank and sensual writer, she wrote with well-tempered passion about her unusual life and powerful appetites. This is her last book, and it is a fitting farewell. Fisher started this project full of ambition but completed it besieged by pain and frustration as Parkinson's disease severed the once reliable link between her crystal-clear mind and life-loving body. As Fisher had to give up first the keyboard, then the pen, she decided to mix older, never before published pieces with new ones, thus creating a wonderfully diverse set of tart and feisty reminiscences, observations, and confessions. Fisher's humor is as sharp and dry as a good martini when she writes about husbands and lovers, friends and adversaries, food and restaurants, travels and home. Her tone deepens in her final pieces as she focuses on aging and expresses her impatience with the "winding down" that precedes death, but we'll always picture Fisher bright-eyed and elegant, never missing a trick or at a loss for words. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A sharp, unsparing honesty Feb. 10 2004
Format:Paperback
These autobiographical essays can be returned to again and again for the beauty of the writing and the startling frankness of the writer. The earlier essays explore the experiences that shaped her - trips to her beloved France, caring for an aging and difficult father, lifelong regret over an impulsive rejection of her sister, musings on literary characters, minor thieving, incidents that retain their emotional charge over decades.
The second half of the book is a portrait of her own aging and increasing illness - her rages, fears and love of life. Whether baring her soul or keeping a whimsical distance, Fisher's writing has an immediacy that connects with the reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brutally honest, reflections on ageing Sept. 20 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I marveled at her honesty, such as resenting looking after an ageing father or her unsent, unsympathetic letter to an elderly friend, her frustration and rage at her own diminishing health and her observation that none of us is prepared for the inevitible process leading to death.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brutally honest, reflections on ageing Sept. 20 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I marveled at her honesty, such as resenting looking after an ageing father or her unsent, unsympathetic letter to an elderly friend, her frustration and rage at her own diminishing health and her observation that none of us is prepared for the inevitible process leading to death.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A summary, a reflection March 12 2006
By Joanna Daneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The great essayist Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher wrote this last volume, starting in 1943 and then in the 1990's, when Parkinson's Disease began to make it impossible for her to speak, as a sort of summary of her writings. This book gives a lot of insight into MFK Fisher's life when she returned to the US from Europe, married again after her first husband's death. Some of the writing is familiar, subjects visited before such as her life in Europe, and some is quite new, if all you've read are her classic essays in "Serve it Forth", for example.

The Last House is one designed for her in Glen Ellen, California. In this house, she writes honestly of the ravages of age, incapacity, fright and regrets. It's brutally honest, as all her writing is. If you love the works of this author, this is a must-read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sharp, unsparing honesty Feb. 10 2004
By Lynn Harnett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These autobiographical essays can be returned to again and again for the beauty of the writing and the startling frankness of the writer. The earlier essays explore the experiences that shaped her - trips to her beloved France, caring for an aging and difficult father, lifelong regret over an impulsive rejection of her sister, musings on literary characters, minor thieving, incidents that retain their emotional charge over decades.
The second half of the book is a portrait of her own aging and increasing illness - her rages, fears and love of life. Whether baring her soul or keeping a whimsical distance, Fisher's writing has an immediacy that connects with the reader.
2.0 out of 5 stars This book should have been printed for family and friends ... Sept. 26 2014
By Owen Maltbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book should have been printed for family and friends. (*yawn*) There is an essay about car lights flashing, far off in the distance. No kidding. I want my hours back.
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