Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: 100% Pure Florida Fiction: An Anthology ed. by Susan Hubbard and Robley Wilson

Synopsis: This anthology of modern Florida fiction showcases the work of 21 writers, including such literary lights as Frederick Barthelme, Alison Lurie, Jill McCorkle, Peter Meinke, and Joy Williams, as well as that of new and emerging writers. Sifting through over 600 stories in books, magazines, literary journals, and the internet, the editors selected the best Florida fiction of the century’s last decades. What these stories have in common, of course, is a Florida setting--but a Florida so strongly evoked that it is more character than place. In these stories Florida is sinister, full of alligators, creeping plants, heavy clouds, noir cops and con artists; it is the surreal spread of theme parks, condominiums, and strip malls; and it is a paradise--lost, regained, and remembered--of sea, sun, hammock, forest, and glade. (from the back of the book)

Review: This is a standard collection of fiction centered around a theme. This theme happens to be Florida, but it doesn't feel particularly different from any other collection of literery works. Most of the stories were average, but three stood out for me. "The Gossamer Girl" by Aracelis Gonzalez Asendorf, "The Pool People" by Alison Lurie and "The Blind Gambler" by Jeffrey Greene.
I like Asendorf's work for exploring the connection between family, sexual abuse, parents and survival. I like the Blind Gambler because it takes place during the same hurricane that happened in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. And I liked Lurie's work because it gave me the most delicious shivers up my spine. The rest, I could take or leave. If you enjoy Florida fiction, you will enjoy this, but it's nothing spectacular.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-8130-1753-X
Date Finished: 3-13-2014
Pages: 203

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