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Encore Provence

Encore Provence:
An Interview with Peter Mayle

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Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Author Peter Mayle put Provence on the map with books like A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence. Readers are left dreamy and hungry after poring over Mayle's juicy descriptions of French food and the unhurried pace of French life in the countryside. He reads from his newest novel, Encore Provence. In this passage he describes what happens when he encourages his active house guests to choose relaxation over tennis. Mayle hands them a copy of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and entices them into a hammock.

When I spoke with him about a year ago, Peter talked about more of these hammock-type moments that happen in the leisurely, easy environment of the French countryside. But, as it happens, his books became so popular that Peter became a local celebrity in the region, and some of that relaxation he and his wife sought out was lost. So, to escape the hordes seeking him out in France, Peter took up residence in the Hamptons for several years to regain some privacy. But he couldn't stay away. So he bought another farmhouse and returned to the south of France. And now Peter looks at Provence anew in this latest book. When I spoke with him recently, I mentioned that things must have been real, real bad in Provence, because I wouldn't exactly call the Hamptons a low-key place to retreat.


Previous Savvy Traveler Interviews with
Peter Mayle:

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