Am within 20 pages of finishing Under the Tuscan Sun. I decided I would read the other two by Mayes about her home in Italy in quick succession. Sped to the library to pick up Bella Tuscany so that the end of one Tuscany saga and the start of the other will be seamless. This second book got very mixed reviews, but once in Tuscany I think it is best to stay there.
"My Literary Paris" by Lily Tuck in Paris was Ours is a very short account of the author's stay in Paris in the 1970s as a student at the Sorbonne. She was in her thirties, the oldest student in her classes, working toward her master's degree in American literature. Apparently her bachelor's degree from an American school didn't suit the French and she had to take eight additional courses before she could enroll in the advanced degree program.
But enroll she did. She analyzed and diagrammed and categorized As I Lay Dying, Wise Blood, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire. She was astonished at first that she was forced to tear apart such wonders of American literature, but admitted that by the end she had learned that the technical reading of a novel didn't spoil it but enhanced it. She fell in love with M. Le Vot, her instructor in the tweed jackets and cashmere sweaters. But most of all, she writes, she fell in love with American literature.