Buzz: Florida Humanities Center for the Book picks Florida's books for National Book Festival

The Florida Humanities Center for the Book has selected “Dreams in the New Century: Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes, and Florida’s Turning Point,” by renowned historian Gary R. Mormino, and “The Bluest Sky”, by award-winning children’s author Christina Diaz Gonzalez, to represent the state at the Library of Congress’ “Great Reads from Great Places” program during August's National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

"We felt these titles were ideal selections for ‘Great Reads from Great Places’ because they beautifully represent Florida's rich literary culture and shine a light on our diverse stories and the people who live here," Florida Humanities Associate Director Patricia Putman says in a press release."Both received gold medal 2022 Florida Book Awards, which we have been partners with for many years and are proud to help elevate the voices of Florida's many talented writers."

“The Bluest Sky” is set during Cuba’s 1980 Mariel boatlift. In a press release, Diaz Gonzalez, a native Floridian of Cuban descent, says the “book is dear to my heart.” 

“In writing this story, my hope is that readers will gain a greater appreciation for the difficult decisions immigrants must often make by placing themselves in the shoes of a boy who must choose to leave or stay in his homeland all the while knowing that there may be dire consequences with either of his choices,” she says.

After witnessing a decade of political, social and demographic change in Florida, Mormino, the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History Emeritus at the University of South Florida St.Petersburg, decided in 2011 to “write a book that introduced and explained modern Florida,” he says in a press release. Eleven years later, “Dreams in the New Century” was published.

Florida Humanities Executive Director Nashid Madyun will moderate an author conversation event featuring Mormino and Diaz Gonzalez at Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg at 7 p.m. on June 21st.

For more information on the event, go to Author Talk at Tombolo Books.
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