Women of Florida Fiction

Essays on 12 Sunshine State Writers


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About the Book

Florida as symbol and myth is the subject of this collection of new critical essays exploring fiction written by female Floridian authors. In the words of author Karen Russell, the Sunshine State is “virtually past-less, seasons are out of the question, and it’s built on a primordial park full of monsters.” Discussing the state as setting, the essayists—also Floridians—suggest that it is a creation of the stories told about it. Each of the book’s 12 chapters covers one author, including a brief biography followed by one (and twice, two) essays on some of the author’s works. The book’s final section includes interviews with authors Lynne Barrett, Jeannine Capó Cruz, Vicki Hendricks and Angela Hunt.

About the Author(s)

Tammy Powley is an associate professor of English and teaches composition and technical communications at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. She lives in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
April Van Camp is a professor of English at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida, where she teaches composition and literature. She lives in Fort Pierce.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Tammy Powley and April Van Camp
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: appendix, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7894-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1822-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface (Tammy Powley) 1
Introduction (April Van Camp) 3
1. Karen Russell 11
• Gators, Goggles and Giant Shells: Fantasy and Florida in the Short Stories (Tammy Powley) 13
• Into the Swamp: An Examination of Folk Narrative Structures and Storylines in Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! (Lori Cornelius) 26
2. Elizabeth ­Stuckey-French 39
• A Laughing Matter: Smiling Through the Pain in Elizabeth ­Stuckey-French’s Novels (April Van Camp) 41
3. Lynne Barrett 51
• ’Canes, Critters and Criminals in Lynne Barrett’s Storytelling (Claudia S. Slate) 53
4. Jennine Capó Crucet 63
• On Haunted Shores: Restriction and Resistance in Jennine Capó Crucet’s How to Leave Hialeah (Camila Alvarez) 66
5. Connie May Fowler 77
• Cracker Redemption: Life, Death and Homecoming in The Problem with Murmur Lee (Jill C. Jones) 79
6. Janis Owen­s 91
• A Summer to Pardon: Southern Gothic and the Family in Janis Owens’s Myra Sims (Sarah M. Mallonee) 93
• American Ghosts and American Realities: Past and Present of Race Relations in Janis Owens’s American Ghost (Beate Rodewald) 101
7. Heidi Boehringer 109
• Walk on the Wild Side: Heidi Boehringer’s Fiction and a ­Post-Feminist Landscape (Maxine Lavon Montgomery) 111
8. Angela Hunt 121
• Romance Fiction in Florida: The Crisscross of Jane Austen and Angela Hunt (Tammy Powley) 123
• Angela Hunt’s Uncanny Florida (Lisa K. Perdigao) 133
9. Edna Buchanan 145
• Florida’s Femme Fatale (Wendy Dwyer) 147
10. Ana Menéndez 155
• Entrapment and Escape (Jane Anderson Jones) 157
11. Vicki Hendricks 169
• The Spectacle of the Body in Florida Gothic
Stories (Angela Tenga) 171
12. Mary Jane Ryals 187
• Racial Progress, Not Movement, Is Evident as the
Trees Slowly Walk in Mary Jane Ryals’s Cookie and Me (Valerie E. Kasper) 189
Appendix: Interviews (Lynne Barrett, Jennine Capó Crucet, Vicki Hendricks, Angela Hunt) 201
About the Contributors 219
Index 223