Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St., will present a free talk with author Nancy Harmon Jenkins Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m.

For the best part of the last half-century, Camden native Jenkins has made a second home in Italy, living, working, gardening, cooking and eating, while also raising two children and writing steadily about her experiences in what she says has sometimes seemed like paradise.

Forty-five years ago, she and her then-husband bought an old tumbledown farmhouse in Tuscany and proceeded to resurrect it from ruin. Twenty years ago, she and her two children planted 150 olive trees and learned how to raise olives and make their own fresh, crisp, extra-virgin olive oil — the best in the world, she says, and also the most expensive.

Author of "The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook," among other acclaimed titles, Jenkins is a recognized authority on the healthy benefits of cooking and eating Mediterranea- style. But she has also written extensively about the foods of all the regions of Italy, including Tuscany and the South.

Just in the past year, she has published two books. The first is "Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil," which recounts her adventures in Tuscany and around the Mediterranean in pursuit of what she calls “nature’s most perfect food.” She also has published "The Four Seasons of Pasta," written with her daughter, chef Sara Jenkins, to demonstrate with a host of recipes how this beloved Italian ingredient fits beautifully into a healthy diet and on a seasonal table.

In her talk, Jenkins will tell tales and show slides as she describes her experiences, including the sometimes dark side of Paradise, and what she has learned from a lifetime of traveling, tasting and thinking about good food. For more information, call the library at 594-0310.