The experiences of authors and an anthropologist highlight the inaugural Parkland Library’s monthly Florida Author Series starting in September. Presenters will take readers to places sometimes overlooked and provide insight into Florida living and its cultural diversity. The series is a retrospective of personal experiences that bring the Sunshine State into sharp focus.
“The series, which runs from September through November, will provide a unique perspective of life in Florida,” said Joe Green, library manger for the city of Parkland. “It’s a refreshing bit of storytelling that really shows what this region has to offer. Each presenter has a unique way to explaining why there’s more to Florida than meets the eye.”
Eliot Kleinberg, author of “Weird Florida, Florida Fun Facts” and “Historical Traveler’s Guide to Florida,” begins the series on Sept. 12 with a presentation of “Only In Florida.” Participants will receive an historical tour of 500 years of Florida history and how it changed the state for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Kleinberg, a native Floridian, is a journalist, having written for more than a quarter century for the Palm Beach Post.
The second installment on Oct. 10 features Dr. Andrew Furman, author of “Bitten: My Unexpected Love Affair with Florida,” a book of personal expectations and experiences, and about the “culture shock” after moving from Pennsylvania to Florida. He shares his amazement at the beautiful and the bizarre qualities of his adopted state, while realizing that his love affair has been both a fun and humbling process of discovery. Personal revelations about attempts at night fishing, growing native plants, birding and hiking in the Everglades can inspire readers to explore the “real” Florida.
Dr. Peter Ferdinando, curator for the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History, concludes the three-installment series on Nov. 14. His presentation is a close-up look at the state’s regional societies and cultures that date back to Native Americans and the discovery of Florida in 1513 by European explorers. The anthropologist, biologist and historian has written extensively on the anthropology of South Florida. His current research targets the development of our regional societies.
“People like monthly events because there is an easier time commitment,” Green said. “We deeply appreciate the Florida Humanities Council for underwriting this program. Through their generosity, we are able to provide an insightful and informative perspective of South Florida.”
Kleinberg has written 10 books, including “Black Cloud,” an expose on the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, and “Peace River” (his most recent), an historical novel based at the conclusion of the Civil War.
Furman’s additional books include “My Los Angeles in Black and (Almost) White,” “Alligators May Be Present,” “Contemporary Jewish-America Writers” and “Multicultural Dilemma.”
Ferdinando’s current research involves the development of regional societies in Florida. He received undergraduate degrees in anthropology and history, with a concentration in ancient civilization, from the University of Central Florida; a master’s degree in anthropology from Florida Atlantic University; and a doctoral degree from Florida International University.
The Florida Author Series is free and open to the public. Each presentation will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the library, 6620 N. University Drive, in Parkland. Call 954-757-4203.
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