French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Richard Goodman

French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France

Algonquin Books
Publication date: February 2012
ISBN: 9781565127401
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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A story about dirt--and about sun, water, work, elation, and defeat. And about the sublime pleasure of having a little piece of French land all to oneself to till.

Richard Goodman saw the ad in the paper: "SOUTHERN FRANCE: Stone house in Village near Nimes/Avignon/Uzes. 4 BR, 2 baths, fireplace, books, desk, bikes. Perfect for writing, painting, exploring & experiencing la France profonde. $450 mo. plus utilities." And, with his girlfriend, he left New York City to spend a year in Southern France.

The village was small--no shops, no gas station, no post office, only a café and a school. St. Sebastien de Caisson was home to farmers and vintners. Every evening Goodman watched the villagers congregate and longed to be a part of their camaraderie. But they weren't interested in him: he was just another American, come to visit and soon to leave. So Goodman laced up his work boots and ventured out into the vineyards to work among them. He met them first as a hired worker, and then as a farmer of his own small plot of land.

French Dirt is a love story between a man and his garden. It's about plowing, planting, watering, and tending. It's about cabbage, tomatoes, parsley, and eggplant. Most of all, it's about the growing friendship between an American outsider and a close-knit community of French farmers.

"There's a genuine sweetness about the way the cucumbers and tomatoes bridge the divide of nationality."--The New York Times Book Review

"One of the most charming, perceptive and subtle books ever written about the French by an American."--San Francisco Chronicle
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Down to earth

This book lacks the pretention of some similar books of this type. Goodman plants himself in a remote French village with his girlfriend and tries to make a life, and a vegetable garden, there for themselves. It is a genuine, honest read full of anecdotes, as only an autobiography can be. But what is particularly charming is that Goodman allows you to laugh with him, and oftentimes at him, and I feel this is where the real richness of this story comes from. It fills a lot of stereotypes of the American abroad variety, but in the end he does himself proud. I also liked his gentle character study of the small French village; it is lovely. As is the depiction of the people who live there and the region around them.
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A Spiritual French journey

This is a memoir written by Goodman, a American man who went to live in France. It differs from similar books I've read because it doesn't concentrate on wine, cheese and other such stereotypical frenchy things! Goodman's story is a spiritual one which is a pleasant change.
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