January 18, 2018
British author died in a hospital near his home in the south of France, publisher confirms
Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence, dies aged 78
Peter Mayle, the author best known for writing A Year in Provence, has died.
His publisher, Alfred A Knopf, announced on Thursday that the British writer died in a hospital near his home in the south of France at the age of 78 after a brief illness.
Mayle’s dozens of books included the best-selling A Year in Provence, a 1989 publication that chronicled his recent move from England to France, and the novel A Good Year, which was made into a film of the same name in 2006, starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. He also wrote educational books and children’s stories.
Speaking to the Guardian 20 years after his breakthrough memoir was first published, Mayle explained how he fell in love with Provence while trying to write a novel.
“I found myself completely distracted – much more taken up with the curiosities of life in Provence than with getting down to work on the novel. The daily dose of education I was receiving at the hands of the plumber, the farmer next door, the mushroom hunter and the lady with the frustrated donkey was infinitely more fascinating than anything I could invent,” he said.
Although A Year in Provence was published with little fanfare, it went on to become one of the most successful travel books of all time, selling more than a million copies in the UK and 6 million internationally.
Hundreds of fans even sought out his home in Ménerbes.
“I remember the first fan well – a man in a BMW. I invited him in, plied him with wine and signed his book at least twice. He was followed over the course of several years by hundreds of others,” the author said in 2010.

In 2002, Mayle was awarded France’s highest order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur, for his contributions to French culture.
In recent years, Mayle completed a quartet of novels: The Vintage Caper, The Corsican Caper, The Marseille Caper and The Diamond Caper.
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