Under the Tuscan Sun - FRANCES MAYES

Frances Mayes as she appeared during a book-signing tour (for Under Magnolia) in April of 2014.


Frances Mayes was "a Georgia girl" before she became a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University.

She was a poet before she wrote her best-selling memoirs, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany.

And ... she was married (then divorced) to someone else before she and Ed Kleinschmidt, a fellow poet and future husband (they married in 1998), first laid eyes on Bramasole, a then-rundown Tuscan farmhouse with five acres of land.

After her twenty-year marriage to her first husband was over, Frances wanted to redefine her life. In love with Italy since her college days, she and Ed acted "out of the fullness of our ignorance" (a phrase she learned from her grandfather) when they decided to buy an abandoned three-story farmhouse overlooking a hill.

Surrounded by property terraced with grapes, fruit trees and olive groves, the house had been empty for thirty years - except for "thousands of scorpions" which had taken up residence. Although the place needed enormous work, it seemed timeless to Frances and Ed. Living on the road which leads to Cortona, Frances can walk to town from her home.

With a trace Southern accent, still discernable when she speaks, Frances describes how she changed as her new home changed. No longer a professor at San Francisco State, she writes full-time. Even her books are different now - written in prose instead of poetry.

She and Ed (who took his wife’s last name and is now Director of the Creative Writing Center at Santa Clara University) divide their time between Cortona and San Francisco.

Their Tuscan home, Bramasole, is named for the area in which it is located. Its English translation is “yearning for the sun.”

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Aug 11, 2015

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"FRANCES MAYES" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2003. Feb 26, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips