Program Details

Florida: A Literary Treasure Trove (Really!)

Margery Marcus
Arts & Letters / History
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Yes! Really! Florida has contributed to this country’s rich literary tradition. Ernest Hemingway arguably put Florida on the literary map, writing that Key West was the “best place I’ve been anytime, anywhere.” There, he produced some of his best work in the mid-1930s, a golden age in Florida’s literary history. That era gave us Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, capturing the African-American experience near Orlando, and Marjorie Kinnan-Rawlings Cross Creek stories, detailing life in rural Alachua County. Inspired by the state’s reputation as a breeding ground for scoundrels, crime fiction authors have “made a killing” here. John D. MacDonald hit it big with the Travis McGee novels. Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford novels feature a former government agent, trying to live a quiet life in Sanibel, continually interrupted by shadowy figures from his past. Florida native Carl Hiaasen, though, wins the award for the most darkly humorous crime writer in Florida today. The program includes a colorful PowerPoint presentation and a reading list.

About the Instructor

  • Margery Marcus, Ed.D., retired from Broward County schools after a long and successful career teaching English. Well known for her storytelling ability, her topics run the gamut from book censorship to the British Royal family. She is a frequent presenter at OLLI programs on the campuses of FAU Boca Raton, Jupiter and, Brooklyn College. Her career has been guided by a deep love of learning which began when she read the very first page of "Charlotte’s Web" as a child. Marcus earned a bachelor's degree in English from The College of New Jersey, a master’s degree in education from the University of N.C. at Charlotte and a doctoral degree in education from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.