Recently finished Reflexions, the memoir of the food writer, wine expert and cook Richard Olney. (I read it on Kindle in the UK.) He writes — wrote, he died in ’99 — beautifully. He was a painter by vocation, and he wrote with brushstrokes, evocative and vivid with charmed hues. Also often very funny, as he tells a life of an American in France, surrounded by the mad and the beautiful, haunted by the demented chef Georges Garin and the brilliant, alcoholic statistician Mary Painter; drifting in and out of the orbits of James Baldwin, Elizabeth David, Alice Waters. It’s the story of a life lived well, and a reminder that even a well-lived life is not perfect.
(Also, a reminder to drink more red wine. LOTS more.)
- Richard Olney: the quiet American who found his soul in Provence (guardian.co.uk)