BETWEEN FRIENDS: M. F. K. Fisher and Me by Jeannette Ferrary (Atlantic Monthly Press: $19.95; 234 pp.). It's tricky, writing about people one knows, but California food author Jeannette Ferrary has picked her way over treacherous ground without losing either readers or friends. And it's a good thing, too, for while M. F. K. Fisher is herself best known as a food writer, food in the Fisher universe is inextricably linked with friendship--the nourishing (as she wrote almost five decades ago) of "my beloved few . . . to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world." Ferrary isn't the writer Fisher is--nobody can be, Fisher having invented a genre all her own--but she is an affable, modest guide. There are few biographical revelations in "Between Friends," Ferrary making almost a fetish of leaving Fisher's skeletons undisturbed, but she captures intact the philosophy of life that makes Fisher's work so rich.

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