Join LibraryThing to post.
List your favorite Floridan Authors (Or books set in Florida) that you love. And for non-Floridians to find more books with zany plots--BTW If you're not from Florida--Yes it really can be that zany here, but just another day for "us".
"BTW If you're not from Florida--Yes it really can be that zany here, but just another day for 'us'."
You know, that's really true. So many times I reflect on something that happened on a *normal* day to a non-Floridian friend - not meaning for it to be this strange and exotic story - and they act like it's anything *but* normal! What?!
Hi: I'm in love with Florida and the authors writing about Florida. Dave Barry is OK and Carl Hiaasen is great. Elmore Leonard- well?? My favorite is Tony Dorsey who writes so much about the history and little known details about Florida and especially the Keys. Living in Colorado i enjoy it very much.
Recently a resident here thought of doing some self promotion in regards to selling his house. He's waterfront, and overlooks a causeway/bridge. He painted the back of his house BRIGHT RED, and wrote 4 sale on his roof with the same red paint. Now...imagine Haissen or Leonard running with that...Neighborhood Residents pres tries to shut him down, he resists, so finally they repaint his house (which has happened before in similiar situations) so he retaliates by painting all or the pres house, but the guys trying to do a land deal, and a local mafioso (sp) is also trying to do the same deal, and two hits are put out by seperate parties for "a guy in a Red house"....and the local drunk comes home to the wrong house cause they're all red/or the local teens think it's funny, and so he/they sneaks out and paints polkadots, and stripes and squares, and tri yadayda so he can find his way home at night....and there's this judge....who knows a stripper...
Did anyone hear the one about the guy who bought all the default tax pieces of land, that amount to fences, or driveways and put up fences painted pink to force the people who thought they owned them to buy them at a higher rate..that was hysterical!
Hi all! 2nd generation Florida native here who LOVES his Florida authors!!
Igor, The author you are thinking of is TIM DORSEY and he is my favorite right now. He has a website (www.timdorsey.com) that is not only informative regarding his books, but is also an interesting repository of old Florida momentos.
I also enjoy Hiassen, Barry and Leonard. The great thing about being a Dave Barry or Carl Hiassen fan and living in Florida is that you KNOW what is going to be in their next books just by reading the newspaper! They love to harvest the weirdest of Florida...stronger than fiction.
Others that are in this vein are Lawrence Shames (Mangrove Squeeze, Virgin Heat, Florida Straights, etc). He focuses on the Keys (usually Key West) and is very detailed with a fast moving and interesting (usually scoundrel-related) story. Interestingly enough, he is not from Florida and doesn't live here, but his detail is excellent!
Of course, the master and granddaddy of them all is John D. MacDonald. His Travis McGee series of 28 books (set in my birthplace of Ft Lauderdale) are modern classics bridging pulp fiction with a self-realized hero who was ahead of his time. My all time favorite is A Flash of Green which painfully details the futile fight for a lost Florida, greedy developers and a magic that is disappearing forever.
I agree completely about John D. MacDonald, truly a great storyteller and a nice understanding of the damage overdevelopment has caused (is causing) to the state.
Books re Florida: How about my mom's re Key Biscayne and Cape Florida Lighthouse? (Ah! I clicked on the touchstone and see Wendy has the one copy in LT! Is that, you, Wendy on KB? If so, come here and tell everyone about my books, which you know will be classics long after Barry and Hiaasen's fluff has blown away, so i don't need to blow my own trumpet.)
Books by Floridians: Mine. 3000 pages in the last 3 years. See if you can read as fast as I can write! Here is what someone down-under wrote about one of my books:
"I thoroughly recommend Rise YSS to brighten up any dinner party. It kept us chatting highly amused for several hours. (present were: one marine biologist, one hardware store owner, one zoo keeper, one hematologist, one media studies uni student, one high school student, one nine year old amateur marine biologist, and a four year old smart kid)
I am a 40+ year old invertebrate marine biologist, and I just love it. I spent 20 years diving the Great Barrier Reef and have watched with wonder the holothurians climb up onto high spots on the reef near them at mid afternoon for their spawning ritual.. ."
Equally good stuff comes from california and hawaii but never from florida, my home state, (except from a fellow translator and friend, which doesn't count). . . Come on, Opinicus, give me a try!
Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!
re john macdonald: he wrote that they should just close the borders after he got here. sure, & i could say that, too. having lived in florida 27+ years, i've seen lots (in caps) of changes in west pasco county. & am seeing many more.
#5: jmd put out 21 travis mcgee books in his series. i am writing the 22nd. it appears in installments of two months on my website:
three of the other four books i've published are based in florida. candle in the rain by Andy Ray is during 1966-1972 and chronicles those years as three young collegiates try to make sense and triumph from the (r)evolution of that time.
in the rooms is the life story of a recovered alcoholic who loves and lives in central and north central florida.
zephrys is 13 short stories most of all set in florida.
the key lime pie by andy ray
andy ray is the author for his times.
I'm now working on The Key Lime Pie -- the 22nd Travis McGee novel and a novel set in the Everglades to be published next winter -- the everglades are burning by andy ray
other authors not yet mentioned are sterling watson, rick tonyon, and harry crews. also, michael shaara, steve becker, wyatt wyatt, and of course, ernest hemingway!!
Not yet to be found on LibraryThing, but in demand at our law library are two mysteries by H. Terrell Griffin, Longboat Blues and Murder Key.
The author's webpage is:
Hopefully a little self promotion won't be frowned upon here - both of my books, featuring Denton Ward and Monty Crocetti take place in the Tampa-St Petersburg neck of the woods.
willmize: nope. if you have published it and it's on or in florida, i want to read it. Cannot do that if I don't know it exists!!
My a candle in the rain is selling on abebooks fro $25 to $250 and I have about 200 copies for sale for $10. What's up with this?
For folk who like to read novel things rather than novels, John Fritchey's Everglades Journal, edited by Beth R. Read is definitely worth a read. From the 1928 hurricane to DDT and acid rain, and most interesting, for me, the weird eels . . . Publisher is Florida Heritage Press.
For the latest by a Florida author not about Florida, try my XXXmas present book with 1,300 dirty 18-19c Japanese poems (senryu), published w/ 2 diff. titles & 2 diff. isbns: The Woman Without a Hole, or Octopussy, Dry Liver & Blue Spots -- both are 504pp and only $30 and i am experimenting to see which cover works better. Touchstones likes the former but yesterday I found a blogger at comicsnob dot com nominate the latter for best title of the year!
As long as i am on a dirty subject -- is ossie joe fruckenthou, whose dirty country is the only i have heard as good or better than bobby bradock's, in florida? (i heard what seemed to be his george jonesy voice in a concert on the radio but missed the name.)
I am sorry to say I haven't read Carl Hiassen yet,
however, I read a book called "Miami Noir." It is a book of short stories all based in Miami. You can find the book in your local Broward County Public Library.
I have been a fan of Randy Wayne White's novels since an ex-boyfriend introduced me to the books about a decade ago. Yes, ex's can be good sometimes. The natural environment of the Florida coast is as much a character in the books as Doc Ford.
I love Randy Wayne White too -- especially the early The Man Who Invented Florida and Dark Light which invokes Hurricane Charley. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' books are classic Florida Cracker -- The Yearling and Jacob's Ladder (can't find the right touchstone for this one). Of course, there's all of Zora Neale Hurston's books -- now collected in 2 volumes by the Library of America: Zora Neale Hurston : Novels and Stories : Jonah's Gourd Vine / Their Eyes Were Watching God / Moses, Man of the Mountain and Zora Neale Hurston : Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings : Mules and Men, Tell My Horse, Dust Tracks on a Road. Connie Mae Fowler 's Florida books are also wonderful -- Sugar Cage, River of Dreams, Remembering Blue and When Women Had Wings . I'm also fond of Pete Dexter's The Paperboy and Larry Baker 's Flamingo Rising.
And for those who like poetry, I have to recommend Florida in Poetry: A history of the imagination .
Nobody has mentioned several pure Florida authors I adore, so here goes:
the late wyatt wyatt who wrote just two books -- catching fire set in winter park and deep in the heart set in texas. both show the influence of his mentor harry crews on wyatt, especially the first novel with its strong woman and strange characters.
harry crews is still the most flavorful and talented florida writer today, although he is at the edge of his sunset up there in gainesville. even so, he still put out a good short piecte in 2002 and maybe, if we are lucky, we'll get another one this year.
thirdly, but not least, are the two "minor" novelists, pat frank and patrick smith, who are a delight to read.
I have a regional favorite (Tallahassee area) author: Leo Lovel who wrote the autobiographical "Spring Creek Chronicles" and "Spring Creek Chronicles II" which are short stories he wrote about his life living in the Florida Big Bend area. Probably not know outside of this area, but his folksy style is endearing to me.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Has to be my Favriote. It's funny; I never read in high school. I just did'nt like to. Now,I can't put a book down without picking another one up. Whenever I read The Yearling (wich was only about seven months ago) I fell in love with her work. My favriote book of her's has to be The Sojourner.
I like Meta Smith. Her books are always set in Florida. She's written: Queen of Miami, The Rolexx Club, and another one that I can't recall.
I hope that it is acceptable for a non-Floridian to add to the discussion here. Several (many?) years ago, I discovered the work of Randy Wayne White, and I find his books to be tremendous - both his fictional accounts of Doc Ford and friends and his non-fiction. I have read every book he has written, and I look forward to his release in March, 2010.
Welcome, Scott! Randy Wayne White is absolutely my favorite Florida crime writer -- he so wonderfully captures the west coast of Florida and doesn't overdo the violent stuff. I think Dark Light and The Man Who Invented Florida are my faves. Have you tried Carl Hiassen and Tim Dorsey? You might enjoy their books too though they are more satiric and over-the-top.
Thanks for post. Always looking for books on the Tallahassee area.
I haven't read his work but Frank G. Slaughter was a prominent author. Quote form Wikipedia:
Several of Slaughter's novels became films, including The Warrior, made into the 1953 Rock Hudson film Seminole; Sangaree, made into the 1953 film of that name starring Fernando Lamas; and Doctors' Wives, made into the 1971 film of the same name starring Dyan Cannon and Gene Hackman.
A few I haven't seen mentioned:
Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God is phenomenal.
Peter Matthiessen - though not a Floridian, his Killing Mister Watson is beatifully written.
Piers Anthony - the topography of his Xanth fantasy series is Citrus and Levy counties.
Pat Frank - Alas, Babylon
Hiassen, Edna Buchanan, Dave Berry, Paul Levine, James W. Hall, John Dufresne, etc - Naked Came the Manatee - a quirky murder-mystery, with each author writing a chapter then passing the manuscript on to the next author. Uneven in spots, but a fun read.
I haven't seen anyone mention Les Standiford. He is a versatile writer who does both fiction (mystery, I think) and great nonfiction. I actually haven't read any of his fiction, but I've read three of his nonfiction books. I highly recommend Last Train to Paradise and The Man Who Invented Christmas. His newest nonfiction is about the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh (Bringing Adam Home), it's an important book, but not his best as far as narrative.
Ooo. Good catch. Standiford was a contributor to Naked Came the Manatee as well.
Tim, Janeajones in message #18 lists many of Zora Neale Hurston's books including Their Eyes . . .. Mules and Men is my favorite and may be the best non-fiction to ever come out of Florida.
Before leaving Florida in July, I wrote and published A Dolphin In the Woods, Mad In Translation (and the reader Touchstones came up with) and The Cat Who Thought Too Much, bringing the Paraverse Press total to 12 books, all born in Florida.
Now, I am in Brooklyn, so does that make me no longer a Floridian author? Or did the fact that I did not write about Florida or include much local color in my books mean I was not a Florida author to begin with? Does the predominance of novels and history books in this talk reflect the books most read in Florida, what other Floridian authors write about, or?
I see not only The Man Who Invented Florida, but The Man Who Invented Christmas is here, but I do not see Tim Ferris mentioned. When he was Coming of Age In the Milky Way it was where I grew up, about 200 yards away on Key Biscayne. I would love to know more of other Floridians who wrote about more than Florida.
Wait a minute, did my eyes skip over it or are we missing a recent novel by a young woman who grew up in South Florida, the one where a family runs a gator farm?
Keigu, another good catch. You're thinking of Karen Russell's Swamplandia!. A frenetic, almost magical-realist trip to the Ten Thousand Islands. Definitely worth reading, as is her short story collection, St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves. The first story in it, "Ava Wrestles the Alligator," was the seed for Swamplandia!.
I heard a review of Birds of Paradise on NPR -- must put it on my wish list post haste.
Anyone have thoughts on Susanna Daniell's Stilstville? It’s in my ever-growing to-read stack, but I haven’t had a chance to crack the cover yet.
Cool Hand Luke Donn Pearce, the author, spent time in the Florida prison system and got a great movie for his time.
35> My review of Stiltsville is on the book's main page: http://www.librarything.com/work/9449404/book/81622046
36> I remember the movie -- great performance from Paul Newman!
Speaking of authors from Florida, I have to introduce my autobiography titled "Gangster to Doctor: The True Life Story of a South Florida Gangster Who Became a Ph.D." It's being released on August 1, 2012. I would be more than happy to send a copy to Librarything reviewers and readers in the electronic PDF version. By the
way, I have been a member of Librarything for only a few days. Hopefully this message is okay.
Ray A. Ransom, Ph.D.
My web page is: http://www.drrransom.com
Let's Quibble --
Floridian writers -- those living in Florida but not always native Floridians. That might have included James Jones who wrote "From Here to Eternity" and "The Thin red Line." He taught at FIU way back in th emid-seventies.
David Leavitt is a professor at UF, who wrote the marvelous fictionalized biography of G. E. Hardy and S. Ramanujan titled, "The Indian Clerk."
Barbara Parker, now dead, was a native Floridian and writer of mysteries featuring former attorney Gail and her Cuban lover/spouse Anthony that are set in SoFla and Cuba.
Zora Neale Hurston, though born in AL, was a FL writer famous for "Their Eyes Were Watching God" that is set in and around Eatonville.
Rick Campbell is arguably America's leading poet who writes about the Florida landscape (among other subjects), lives in Quincy, teaches at FA&M, and was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant."
The Inaugural poet might displace Rick Campbell. Richard Blanco, an FIU alumnus, was the literary star of President Obama's second inauguration ceremony.
There are a lot of FL writers in part because of the many fine writing programs at the stae's universities. FIU in Miami put blue collar crime and gothic noir writers on the map. Les Standiford, John Duresne, Jim W. Hall, Debra Dean, and Lynne Barrett all teach there. Dennis Lehane did the MFA program there as did Chris Kling, Vicki Hendricks, and Barbara Parker to mention those with national reputatons.
FL provides a lot of grist for the lterary mill.
FIU in Miami put blue collar crime and gothic noir writers on the map. Les Standiford, John Duresne, Jim W. Hall, Debra Dean, and Lynne Barrett all teach there. Dennis Lehane did the MFA program there as did Chris Kling, Vicki Hendricks, and Barbara Parker to mention those with national reputatons.
Those same people do the Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College in St. Pete.
Other than Hurston and Jones, I didn't see, in my haste, anybody who will be remembered ten years from now, except perhaps by specialists. In all honesty, I ran through the years' accumulation mighty fast once I saw recurrent mention of a vulgar, opportunist no-talent like Elmore Leonard. How could it be that only one person (in Post #21) even thought to include Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings? How 'bout certainly the most celebrated adopted-Floridian, a guy names Hemingway? With all due respect for the person who posted this, the idea that an Inaugural Poet is ipso facto any big deal is ludicrous. Yes, yes, I know that some greats have been cast in that role, but when it comes to the arts, it's been decades since ANY Administration has showed an artistic awareness much above the typical audience for WHEEL OF FORTUNE. Peace to all, sisters and brothers.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.