"FOR DEAR JIM FROM HIS EVER-LOVING MARY FRANCIS": FIRST EDITION OF SISTER AGE, WONDERFUL ASSOCIATION COPY INSCRIBED BY FISCHER TO JAMES BEARD
FISHER, M. F. K. Sister Age. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983. Octavo, original half beige cloth, original dust jacket. $3900.
First edition of this collection of essays and short stories on aging, a wonderful association copy uniting two of the most important culinary figures of 20th-century America, inscribed "For J.A.B. from MFKF and for dear Jim from his ever-loving Mary Francis. Glen Ellen 1983."
In this work, acclaimed food and travel writer M.F.K. Fisher branches out, writing about aging, preparing for the end of life, and dying. From the 1980s until her death in 1992, Fisher struggled with Parkinson's Disease, arthritis, and chronic eye problems. By the end of her life, she was an invalid, confined to a cottage in Glen Ellen, California. Her contact with the outside world was through friends, readers, and chefs, who brought her food and came to speak with her about writing and life. Still, Fisher managed to continue writing and this work stands out as one of her great accomplishments from that time. As St. Francis welcomed Brother Pain, Fisher intended to welcome "Sister Age." This book was intended not only to help her, but to help all others facing the same issues. This copy has been inscribed by Fisher to American chef and food writer James Beard, and bears his bookplate. Beard, through his cookbooks, his cooking school, and his television appearances was, along with Fisher, one of the primary forces in mid-20th century America to educate and improve the American palate. The James Beard Awards, issued yearly by the foundation named for him after his death, continue to be a coveted hallmark of culinary excellence. Beard and Fisher were close friends: both combined a love of French cuisine with a passionate relationship to authentic regional American cuisine. The 2013 book Provence, 1970 centers on the meeting of three towering figures in American gastronomy—James Beard, Julia Child and M.F.K. Fisher—and the historic implications of their work (and their friendships).
Just a bit of toning to dust jacket. A fine copy.