Garlic, Mint, & Sweet Basil
By Jean-Claude Izzo, Howard Curtis (Translated by)
2020 • Europa Compass
“Evocative . . . A paean to the life, cities and food of the Mediterranean . . . His essays . . . reveal a man of deep feeling and humanity” (The Guardian).
A short sublime book on the three things dearest to Jean-Claude Izzo’s heart: his native Marseilles, the sea in all its splendor, and Mediterranean noir—the literary genre his books helped to found. This collection of writings shows Izzo, author of the acclaimed Marseilles trilogy, at his most contemplative and insightful. His native city, with its food, its flavors, its passionate inhabitants, and its long, long history of commerce and conviviality, constitute the lifeblood that runs through all of Izzo’s work.
Reminiscent of Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi and the lyrical essays of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Albert Camus, as uplifting and touching as Daniel Klein’s Travels with Epicurus, this slender volume will appeal equally to gourmets who delight in the strong flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, to those travelling on the Riviera (or arm-chair travelers who wish they could), and, naturally, to aficionados of noir fiction.
Praise for Jean-Claude Izzo
“Mr. Izzo was a marvelous food writer . . . His books are filled with winning descriptions of Provencal meals run through with the flavors of north Africa, Italy, Greece.”—The New York Times
“Just as Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy made Los Angeles their very own, so Mr. Izzo has made Marseilles so much more than just another geographical setting.”—The Economist
“In Izzo’s books . . . Marseilles is a ‘ville selon nos coeur,’ a city in tune with our heart . . . A cosmopolitan, maritime city, greedy, sensual and warm.”—Slow Food
Tags: Books, food writing, french, mediterranean, travel