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About the book (publisher’s description)
In The Arrangement Ashley Warlick imagines the story of what transpired between celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher, her first husband Al, and her lover Tim Parrish, offering a tantalizing picture Fisher never brought to the pages of her own work. It begins with a meal. That will not surprise those familiar with Fisher, a food writer whose essays showed her life through the lens of her appetites, one who focused on the pleasures of eating and what it means to satisfy our hungers. While researching Fisher, Warlick was intrigued by the sparse details of the beginning of Fisher’s love affair with Tim Parrish: how Fisher orchestrated a dinner alone with him, then surprised him later by appearing at his bedroom door, already disrobing. Inspired by this glimpse of the brazen, confident woman behind classics like The Gastronomical Me and Consider the Oyster, The Arrangement was born.
Los Angeles, 1934. Mary Frances is on the cusp of becoming M.F.K. Fisher—the writer whose artful personal essays about food created a genre. Young, restlessly married, and returning from her first sojourn in France, she is hungry, and not just for food. She begins writing to impress friend and neighbor Tim, who seems to understand her better than anyone. Mary Frances and her husband, Al, no longer share the things that once bound them together—a good glass of wine, a fine meal, their creative and passionate energy. After a night’s transgression, it’s only a matter of time before Mary Frances claims what she truly wants, plunging all three of them into a tangled triangle of emotions that will have far-reaching effects on their families, their careers, and their lives.
Set in California, France, and the Swiss Alps, The Arrangement is a sparkling, sensual, and completely enveloping story of love, passion, and a woman well ahead of her time who had the courage to be—and to take—exactly who she wanted. Warlick proves herself to be a tremendously talented writer of historical fiction, and fans of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain will delight in the rich sensuality of every scene.
About the author
Ashley Warlick is the author of four novels. Her work has appeared in Redbook, The Oxford American, McSweeney’s, and Garden and Gun, among others. The youngest ever recipient of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, she has also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches fiction in the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, South Carolina, and is the editor of the South Carolina food magazine edibleUpcountry. She is also the buyer at M. Judson, Booksellers and Storytellers in Greenville, SC, where she lives with her family.