Like her essay portraits of Dijon and Aix, in this 1978 book Fisher collected impressions and anecdotes of Marseille. There is a little ancient history, nods to the rough seaport town's trade in drugs and prostitution, moments from throughout Fisher's acquaintance with Marseille's avenues, cafes, hotels, and walkways from her first visit as a young bride in 1929 to her last in 1976. There are no outstanding stories in this one (well, the tale of a last sad meal before leaving the city in 1932 -- when the authorities stabbed everyone's luggage in search of escaped murderers -- is gripping, and the creche with two different infant Jesuses is pretty amusing) ... just more time in the company of an elegant, sophisticated woman who writes prose like "their goons [were] inept spratlings in an ancient shark-infested sea," and the city's "collective evil is balanced by a wonderful healthiness."
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus