Forget Italy, This Author is Digging the South

April 4, 2014 | By | Comments (6)
frances mayes Forget Italy, This Author is Digging the South

“Under Magnolia” and the author; via Random House

Frances Mayes had us swooning for the Italian countryside in her memoir Under the Tuscan Sun. Now, she’s taking the setting a little closer to home with Under MagnoliaReleased earlier this week, the story weaves together a Southern childhood full of mischief, hilarious anecdotes, and the sights and sounds of the Deep South. You better believe we devoured every page of this delicious read.

A native of Fitzgerald, Georgia, we thought Frances might have a thing or two to share about life in the South. Here, the author gives her favorite Southern tidbits.

Not necessarily in the U.S., what’s the most southern (geographically) place you’ve ever been?
Key West in the USA and below that, Peru.

The most Southern thing I’ve ever done is…
Come back home to live in the South after a whole career in California.

What’s your favorite Southern food craving?
It’s a tossup between caramel cake and coconut cake, the big three-layer wonders with a thousand calories a slice.

Who is your favorite Southerner of all time?
In high school I fell in love with the romantic CSA General, Jeb Stuart. He still seems dashing and very cool. Now, the humanitarian Jimmie Carter seems like a model human being, and he’s from my part of Georgia!

When in the South, your favorite pastime is…
I’m fond of sitting on the front porch in the cool of evening, reading poetry and sipping iced tea with a splash of pineapple juice.

What’s your favorite Southern fragrance?
Gardenias in the rain.

What’s your favorite Southern read?
It’s too hard to choose! I’m an enormous fan of Eudora Welty.

Spoiler Alert: Under Magnolia made our May issue’s summer reading list. Pick up a copy (on newsstands 5/18) to see more books we’re digging into this summer.

Tuscanny vs. Fitzgerald, Georgia: Which storied locale do you think has more to tell? Sound off in the comments below.


  1. Susan Helms

    Oh, the South is definitely the place to be. Nothing can compare to our heritage. After all, we have Gen. J.E.B. Stuart!! ‘Nuf said!

    April 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm
  2. kbaker0713

    Given all the history and secrets of the south- I cannot wait to read this one!

    April 8, 2014 at 8:55 am
  3. Mary E Day

    I was raised in the south. There’s no place like it! I now live up north in the frozen tundra:(
    I will be reading Under Magnolia!

    April 8, 2014 at 6:38 am
  4. Michelle Mahaffey

    I too am a proud Georgia girl! I can honestly say that Under the Tuscan Sun was life-changing for me, so I will definitely be picking up Under Magnolia!

    April 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm
  5. Traci Bland

    I grew up near Fitzgerald, Ga and can speak from experience when I say that that area of the south is very rich in history and heritage! Can’t wait to read the book!

    April 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm
  6. Ellen Evans

    Will there be a movie soon?

    April 7, 2014 at 11:54 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s