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Frances Mayes


10,000 Rules to Live By

I couldn't wait to go to college. My grandfather walked in the dining room where I sat at the table reading catalogues. I wanted to go to Newcomb but knew nothing about it other than that it was in New Orleans. For years late at night, I'd listened [...]

Islands In Summer

Many primitive charms must be worked in solitude. On the island I slipped out early to walk the beach washed clean of footprints. My father taught me about the beach at sunrise. All the years I was small, he often would wake me up and say, "Corne o [...]

The Walking Rain

Below the Southern fall line, that place where the hard, as I imagine it, soil of the North meets the silty coastal plain I lived on, stream bottoms are pure white sand. A stream bed, so beautiful when dry—the meandering course patterned with the [...]

At Either End of Memory

When I was a child— the mothers of my two friends committed suicide and I tried to decide which way was better. Because my mother taught me to be discriminating I had to ask teeth blown in the ceiling or Dodge doing 85 into a moss oak. Ye [...]