A last photo of the author with her friend, taken by M.F.K.'s sister, Norah.
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A Surprise Find

Jacqueline Sainsbury - September 2013

“When I agreed to write about M.F.K. Fisher," says Robin Dellabough, "I knew I had big gaps in my recollection of our friendship. Still, I had a cache of letters she had written to me over the years, and I would refer to them—except that I could only find one out of dozens in the boxes we had never unpacked after our move from California to New York 23 years ago. So I had to request copies from the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, where her work is archived. I don’t know what surprised me more, reading my letters to her, which described the arc of a young woman growing into her own life, or reading her letters to me, a guidebook on how to age with curiosity and fervor. But writing To M.F.K. and Back turned out to yield unexpected, poignant gifts.”

Robin Dellabough is a writer, editor, and poet based in New York. Currently the projects director for Publishers Marketplace/Publishers Lunch, she co-founded a book company that produced nearly 100 books. Her favorite restaurant is still Chez Panisse, where she claims to have gotten a job years ago, based solely on her knowing Mary Frances.