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OP: Among Friends (paperback)

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by M.F.K. Fisher
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Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004. Paperback. Fine.

Focusing on her family’s 1912 move from Michigan to the Quaker town of Whittier, California, Among Friends (1971), in many ways, stands out from the rest of MFK Fisher’s oeuvre. This is a rare glimpse into her younger years, framed by the dizzying cultural and technological changes of the early 20th century. 

Wry and candid, Fisher reveals such childhood dramas as discovering a recipe for waffles in the church’s community cookbook contributed by her father’s former lover—and someone her mother continued to employ (power move) as the children’s tailor. 

Another chapter is an ode to the “batties”— “I feel fortunate that I have known several. We have been in many ways kindred spirits…”—who added color to young Mary Frances’ upper-middle-class upbringing. One of whom, alternately “Cousin Something” or “Cousin Whozit,” incites Fisher’s grandmother’s swift departure from the dinner table—in indignation, totally scandalized—after the recitation of a crass poem.

Ours is a Fine, unused copy of the 2004 paperback edition. Good and lively reading.

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