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Peter Mayle dead; ‘A Year in Provence’ author was 78

Author Peter Mayle in New York in 1997.

Author Peter Mayle in New York in 1997. Credit: AP / Wyatt Counts

Peter Mayle, author of the bestseller “A Year in Provence” and other books, died Thursday at the age of 78. According to a statement released by his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, Mayle died at a hospital near his home in the south of France after a brief illness.

Mayle achieved international renown after the 1989 publication of “A Year in Provence,” which recounted a move from his native England to the village of Ménerbes in southern France. The memoir recounted the author’s trials and tribulations in renovating a 200-year-old stone farmhouse and his amusing encounters with the local populace. The book was published in the United States in 1990, and a sequel, “Toujours Provence,” came out in 1991. The books inspired a wave of interest in the region, especially its food and wine, and spawned similar travel memoirs, such as Frances Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

Mayle also wrote novels set in Provence, including “Hotel Pastis,” “A Good Year” and “The Diamond Caper,” his final book, which was published last year.

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