French Spirits: A House, a Village, and a Love Affair in Burgundy

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9780060188207: French Spirits: A House, a Village, and a Love Affair in Burgundy

When Jeffrey Greene, a prize-winning American poet, and Mary, a molecular biologist and his wife-to-be, discover a moss-covered stone presbytery in a lovely village in the Puisaye region of Burgundy, they know they have to live there. In lush, lyrical prose, Greene recalls their experiences turning the 300-year-old stone building -- a "chateau in miniature" that the locals believe houses numerous spirits-into a habitable refuge. He brings to life their adventures in finding wonderful bargains with which to furnish their new space, including a firm mattress and some rather suspicious antiques" bought from the back of a van.

Greene offers the unexpected joys and surprises of village life, from celebrating his and Mary's simple backyard wedding to toiling in a verdant garden. He shares the experience of surviving his mother's decision to move in and humorously introduces the locals -- both human and nonhuman -- who define his and Mary's new world.

Woven throughout this luscious tale are the pleasures of rural France: wondrous food and wine, long-held rituals and feasts, dark superstitions, and deeply rooted history.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Greene received his MFA from the University of Iowa and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He is the author of To the Left of the Worshiper and American Spirituals, which won the 1998 Samuel French Morse Prize. He was also the winner of the Randall Jarrell Prize and the Discovery/The Nation Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and many other journals and anthologies. He lives in Paris.

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