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Homegrown in Florida
     

Homegrown in Florida

5.0 1
by William McKeen (Editor)
 

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“Sparkles with all the colors of our childhood, like the Florida sun setting over the Gulf. A surprising cross-section of thirty-four talented writers, poets, politicians, and entertainers transport us to a state where anything was possible, where memories take on a life of their own and have lasting consequences.”—Victor DiGenti, author of the

Overview

“Sparkles with all the colors of our childhood, like the Florida sun setting over the Gulf. A surprising cross-section of thirty-four talented writers, poets, politicians, and entertainers transport us to a state where anything was possible, where memories take on a life of their own and have lasting consequences.”—Victor DiGenti, author of the Windrusher series

“Brings back a world in which kids played outside unsupervised, when grandmothers wore pearls and smelled of talcum powder and cooked hot breakfasts, and when a mother might spend Sunday morning immersed in the Miami Herald but felt it her duty to have grace said at the dinner table.”—Joy Wallace Dickinson, author of Remembering Orlando

Florida can seem like a child’s dream of paradise: endless sunny days, trips to the beach to swim and build sandcastles, bike riding without a jacket in the middle of January, and magical themeparks only a short drive away. But what was life really like for those who grew up here?

           
During a recent reunion, writers Bill McKeen, Tim Dorsey, and Jeff Klinkenberg found themselves lamenting that so many of their childhood memories were fading away. For them, and for many, Florida is not just a place people go to, it’s where they come from.

           
That can mean many things to many people, as the stellar cast of writers, journalists, and musicians eloquently reveal in Homegrown in Florida. This utterly satisfying and powerful anthology aims at the heart of the glories of childhood and the pain of growing up. Both a celebration of the exotic, untamed wilderness of a youth filled with moss-draped oaks and citrus fields, evergreen winters and palmetto fronds, and a reminder that innocence often gave way to experience as bike paths became private developments, and swimming holes were paved over by interstates, Homegrown in Florida is filled with tears and laughter alike.

           
Featuring contributions from Carl Hiaasen, Tom Petty, Zora Neale Hurston, Michael Connelly, and many more, this is a book for every child of old Florida, and every child at heart.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
McKeen (journalism, Boston Univ.) offers here a remarkable collection of 37 fiction excerpts, poems, lyrics, and essays about growing up in the Sunshine State in the pre-Disney days. Well-known Florida novelists Carl Hiaasen, Michael Connelly, and Tim Dorsey contribute selections and fiction excerpts from Zora Neale Hurston and Robb White are included. In "Riding the Wave," Ken Block, lead singer of the band Sister Hazel, writes about his younger brother's death from cancer. In "The Only Israeli in Town," journalist Boaz Dvir recalls his experience attending a public high school in a redneck town, while Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty recalls meeting Elvis Presley. McKeen, who won the 2011 Florida Book Awards Gold Medal for Nonfiction for Mile Marker Zero, includes his own essay about growing up on Homestead Air Force Base, north of the Keys, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. VERDICT This exceptional collection reveals that Florida kids face the same challenges as others, but they may just be a little bit luckier because they can do so with their toes in the sand.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813042053
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
09/30/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,329,868
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

William McKeen is the author of nine books, including Mile Marker Zero, Outlaw Journalist, Highway 61, and Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay. He teaches at Boston University, where he chairs the Department of Journalism.

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Homegrown in Florida 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadMinRead More than 1 year ago
Just starting this book took me a bit longer because I enjoyed the introduction so much, I read it twice before moving on to the stories. I could have finished it in one day, but wanted to savor the memories a little longer so stretched it into two. I did have to read 'one more' story the first night because the one I where planned to stop on was so sad. Good call as I slept real good that night with memories I read about. LOVED the stories. Some more than others. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. But many had me recognizing things/places I knew and remembered, some of which I had forgot. A few of the stories even took me places where I hadn't been during my 46 years as a Florida resident, making my resolve to move back to my native state that much stronger. Right after I finished reading the book I ran across an online story about a Texas mother arrested after a neighbor called the cops for allowing her young children to play outside unsupervised (supposedly), it made me appreciate that much more something I always have - those wonderful carefree times in which I spent my childhood. THANK YOU to all the contributors and those who had the idea! Waiting impatiently for the next volume of memories....