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Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  427 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
"Long Ago in France" is Fisher's exquisitely evocative, deliciously candid memoir of her three-year stay in Dijon. It is a delightful journey backward - in the grandest of company - into the voluptuous, genteel world that has vanished forever.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 15th 1992 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 883)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I didn't know anything about Dijon except that a sandwich isn't a sandwich till you Poupon it. There's a lot more to it than just the moutard. This is the city where Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was initiated into the world of food and wine as sacrament, to be savored and lingered over and held in reverence. She arrived in Dijon as a newlywed in 1929 and stayed three years. This was the beginning of her gastronomical education and set the course for her future as a food writer extraordinaire.

Jeff Friederichsen
Oct 30, 2015 Jeff Friederichsen rated it liked it
I would imagine this book to be appreciated most by Fisher completists, rather than first-timers such as myself. Very conversational in style, romantically evocative of several stereotypes I have of "Frenchness" and that period, kind of rambling. I was a little lost here and there, but its charm as nostalgia kept me going.
Sep 01, 2011 Cathy rated it it was ok
Maybe it was her writing style, maybe it was the lack on continuity through out the book, I don't know but I just found this one to be only OK. I was surprised as I had heard lots about M.F.K. Fisher...I guess I was expecting something else. Aside from that it was kind of neat hearing about France in the late 1920's time period....
Bill Keefe
Oct 18, 2014 Bill Keefe rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bill by: Dad
A warm and vividly clear account of the author's baptism into French - specifically bourgognais - food, history and culture. Pearls of elevated writing are interspersed with a running account of living (fully!) in Dijon in the 1920s. The author's vitality is ever present, as is her measured response to the ups and downs of getting an intimate look into the ways of a foreign culture and the families she and her husband live with. Were I to turn the clock back 40 years, I may have benefited greatl ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
No idea why it took me this long to read MFK Fisher. Again, another windfall of the street, my eternal gratitude to the neighbors leave their dusty libraries to San Francisco.
In reading MFKF, I see what food writers today are attempting--and sometimes failing--to express. Much of the pleasure is simply in her tone, her voice, and her innumerable excitements of being young and in love.
Even better, there's an impassioned note scrawled on the inside cover from the previous owner, detailing his ow
Jul 31, 2015 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it
I read an article recently mentioning M.F.K Fisher and decided to check one of her books out of my library. Mrs. Fisher is an accomplished food writer, who lived through WWI and WWII. These historic years definitely impacted her writings and point of view. She produced 27 books in her life, which spanned 1908 to 1992. This book focuses mainly on her time in Dijon beginning in 1929, the time between the wars. Her prose is evocative and candid. Her ability to connect food to people and places is s ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Unbridled rated it really liked it
What a charmer this woman was - sharp, smart, elegant, and a touch of a snob too. In short, an easy woman to fall in love with and a very talented writer to read.
Oct 06, 2013 Monique rated it it was ok
This was somewhat interesting as a period piece, but I wasn't as taken with it as I thought I'd be. It must have been her style of writing that bothered me.
Feb 12, 2014 Sheena rated it really liked it
I gave this 4 stars, but to be honest I never finished it. I made it about halfway through. It was well written and mildly enjoyable to me, but I just wasn't getting much out of it personally. I'm not really all that interested in France, much less Dijon. And I had never read anything by M.K. before, so I had no previous attachment or affinity for the author. But if you like gastro-type reading, reading personal accounts about life in France, etc... then I think this would be a book you would li ...more
Apr 25, 2009 Clare rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Couldn't get engaged in the story. Too much detail about stuff that didn't interest me, and not enough about what did!
May 12, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok
This book is moderately interesting although I much prefer Julia Child's My Life in France.
Tracy Small
Dec 27, 2015 Tracy Small rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this one immensely because I always love living vicariously through others. This book is well-written and a pleasure to read due to its descriptions of people, places, and culture. The food and wine descriptions often made my mouth water, and Ms. Fisher's candid, yet loving, descriptions of the people around her made me smile. "There is no such frigate as a book, to take us lands away" according to Emily Dickinson, and this book is the perfect example of that. The armchair trip to Dijon ...more
Anne Marie
Nov 09, 2014 Anne Marie rated it did not like it
I have nothing against the author of this book. She writes very well, and has a lot of nice memories of her younger days in France. But that's just it...she has nice, boring, mostly food memories that didn't make much of a story to me. It is true that her memories could have taken place in any time period. It just so happens they took place in the late 1920's, early 30's. I wish she wrote more about what happened to her many times was she married? At least that could possibly have ...more
I loved this book for the descriptions of a provincial French city before the second world war. It's not a book about food so much as a book about the customs of people at the time, told without nostalgia. Fisher and her then-husband were students living with a French family needing to supplement their revenue by taking in borders. Overall it's a little uneven but a very enjoyable and quick read.
Aug 12, 2012 Lynne-marie rated it really liked it
This book revisits an early time in M.F.K. Fisher's life . . . when she had just married and her husband was cooking in Dijon . . . from the viewpoint of her 80's. We are given to understand that some of the material has been mined before in a different tone in her earlier, more lime-lighted books. This is a quiet, reflective story of many walks through the city, many meals eaten and many thoughts pondered. It does me so much good to know that someone who was known for her verve and vivacity can ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Grace rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Food people, France people
Recommended to Grace by: Giovanna
Shelves: 1930s, france, food, bicultural
Three stars seems like too few to give this book, but the fact is that I liked it. I don't know if I would say that "I really liked it".

This book was very description-heavy, which seems appropriate because the foods she described were also very heavy! But it made it hard to get into. I think this book should be read slowly and carefully. You need to give it a lot of attention.

Anyway, it was good, and it her descriptions of toilet facilities certainly made me appreciate my own living situation!
Apr 04, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
Astute, evocative observations of people, of food, of the Burgundian town of Dijon. I admire how, like a true memoirist, M.F.K. Fisher writes for herself (always the best audience), a collage of telling impressions and recollections. I love her wit and intelligence, her insight, and her artful economy of words. Yes, Fisher is a food writer, but she is also a keen observer of human nature, which gives her writing depth.
May 02, 2009 Sandy rated it did not like it
Shelves: food-cooking, travel
I gave this one star because no stars isn't an option. I would actually rate it a minus star, as 'absolutely hated it'. The only reason I finished the book was that I had read so many positive comments about the great MFK Fisher that I kept expecting it to improve. Which never happened. Her style of writing is so annoying that I will NEVER read another one of her books.
Mar 24, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: armchair-tourist
As a young woman, Fisher lived in Dijon from 1929-1932; this short memoir recounts her time there. She writes candidly, sketching the place, the food, and both good and bad personality traits of those she met (herself included). Remarkable sketches they are, too: brief, telling, and drawn in a few quick lines. I'll seek more of her books when next I'm at the Strand.
Sep 18, 2009 Lisago5 rated it it was amazing
Now I know where Laurie Colwin learned to write. I'm sure Julia Child gained her inspiration here too. Food, travel, characters you don't see much anymore, and good writing . . . everything I need. This book sets me on a course to read her other books, most of which came before this one.
Jul 30, 2013 Delphine rated it liked it
Shelves: subway-reading
This is my first MFK Fisher book. I can't say I absolutely loved it but I did really enjoy reading it. The writing is a bit sloppy in places, and it can get dry. However, the little portraits scattered throughout are memorable and touching and make this book worth reading.
Sonya Mendoza
Apr 07, 2012 Sonya Mendoza rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like books on travel and food
Shelves: travel
The first half of the book seemed more of a description of the author's surroundings, and thus I found it a bit dry. I enjoyed the second half a lot more, which discussed the interesting people that she and her husband met during their few years living in Dijon as students.
Jul 08, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable look at Dijon in the early 1930s, the odd characters that lived there, and Fisher's awakening as a woman, an artist, and a gastronome. This book would pair well with Julia Child's "My Life In France."
May 02, 2010 Diane rated it liked it
Rememberances of the late food and prose writer MFK Fisher's first years in pre-WWII France. A little rambling (for which she apologized in the prelogue), and quite dated, but an interesting glimpse of history.
Sep 19, 2008 Matthew rated it it was ok
I hear Fisher is a great food writer, but this is not the one to read. Except for Chapter 4, the rest is about the characters she remembers, looking back to 50 years ago. I'll defo read her early stuff...
Marilyn Hartl
Sep 15, 2009 Marilyn Hartl rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
A look at Dijon in the years before WWII, written by a great gourmet. It was an intriguing look at their three years as students in France...another world, another time.
Jul 28, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it
The word pictures of the food in 1929 in France were wonderful. It was light but very tasty reading, and just full of descriptions of people. A delight, small but lovely.
Aug 21, 2007 Jenny rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book - much like her other works she writes about food, travel, and life lessons while living in France. If your a fan of Fisher I highly suggest this book.
Faith McLellan
Apr 09, 2012 Faith McLellan rated it really liked it
Clear-eyed evocation of a long-gone France. Read in Dijon, walked down her street, saw the same buildings, some 80 years on.
Apr 06, 2008 Felicia rated it liked it
MFK Fisher is the patron saint of my tummy. I will happily read anything she had to write -- when the mood or hunger strikes me.
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Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was a prolific and well-respected writer, writing more than 20 books during her lifetime and also publishing two volumes of journals and correspondence shortly before her death in 1992. Her first book, Serve it Forth, was published in 1937. Her books deal primarily with food, considering it from many aspects: preparation, natural history, culture, and philosophy. Fisher ...more
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