This is a charming fish-out-of-water tale about a young Englishman who spends an extraordinary summer working at a Ferme-Auberge in a remote hilltop village in Gascony, one of the most rural parts of Southwest France. It is an idyllic land of rolling hills and wide horizons, swathed with vineyards, sunflowers and pastures. In the tiny hamlet of Pcguilhan, Martin Calder is introduced to the Gascon way of life, working the fields and shepherding sheep. It is in Pcguilhan that Calder discovers a unique and fiercely independent people. Full of colorful characters and sun-drenched landscapes, this is a tale of two love affairs: a summer romance with Calder's fellow stagiere, Anja, and the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Gascony. Along the way you will meet the charismatic and convivial Jacques-Henri, the hardworking farmer whose family takes Calder into their home and hearts; Pattes, the mischievous and lovable stray dog who leaves havoc in his wake; Madame "Parle-Beaucoup," the town gossip with a secret of her own; and the memorable Monsieur Fustignac, whose pride in his Gascon heritage is unforgettable. A Summer in Gascony is an adventure you don't want to miss.
Martin Calder is a lecturer in French language and literature at the University of Bristol. A true Francophile, he has lived and worked in Paris and other parts of France, but is always drawn back to Gascony. Gascony appeals to his enjoyment of the simple pleasures of life on the land, the sights and smells of the country, good food and wine, and hard work.