Ted Jones - writer
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Frances Mayes Frances Mayes is a professor of English and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Her best-selling books, articles, web site, lectures and films on all matters Tuscan have made her almost the J. C. Rowling of travel writing. She and her husband came across a neglected 200-year- old house in the countryside near Cortona in 1990 and spent the next few years renovating it. Her book about the experience, Under the Tuscan Sun - following the success of Peter Mayle’s block-busting A Year in Provence, published the previous year - sold over a million copies and was made into a film. Success for both writers was something of a poisoned chalice: as Peter Mayle had discovered earlier, his book’s fame resulted in considerable intrusion into his private life, and when he came across a tsunami of tourists in his swimming pool he decided it was time to decamp. He is still in Provence, but at a secret address known only to close friends. Mayes had a similar experience following the success of her “Tuscany” books, tourists making the pilgrimage to Cortona in their thousands in the hope of catching a glimpse of the author. Mayes, however, did not leave: her home is on an advertised tour, and, twenty years after discovering it, she is still “wild about the place.”
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