Mark asked Frances Mayes:

Frances, thank you so much for ALL of your books. The concept of place figures heavily into your writing. Your books set in Italy home in on the piazza as the hub of town life in that country. What would you say is the Southern equivalent to the piazza, if there is one? And do you have any plans to travel in Canada, either on a book tour or to write about the True North?

Frances Mayes I'd love to go to Canada again, as I did on the cookbook tour. So far, no plans have materialized. The downtown of Fitzgerald, where I grew up, was a thriving and busy place and everyone went there on Saturdays, just as the Cortona people go to the piazza that day. Now, so many American downtowns have been gutted by shopping malls. It's tragic. The mall just doesn't have soul. Now I live in a small town in NC, as well as in Tuscany, and here, there is a great sense of community. An independent bookstore and a good coffee shop are great magnets.

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