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Florida Literary Landmarks
Florida Center for the Book Designates Beloved Children’s Author Syd Hoff’s Miami Beach Home a Literary Landmark

Children’s literature and humor matters is the message behind marking author Syd Hoff’s Miami Beach, FL home a Literary Landmark. Hoff (1912-2004) was the creative genius behind the childhood classics, Danny and the Dinosaur, Sammy the Seal and more than 60 HarperCollins I CAN READ books for children. Over a dozen are still in print and enjoyed by children today.

The Florida Center for the Book and the American Library Association designated Hoff’s Miami Beach home, as a historic literary landmark on February 10, 2013. The house, now owned by Miami Beach resident Carol Karp, will be provided a plaque to mark its status as the 18th Literary Landmark site in Florida.

More on the American Library Association’s Literary Landmark program

Florida’s literary landscape includes the homes, offices, and destinations of many of America’s greatest novelists, biographers, and poets. These are Florida’s Literary Landmarks, so designated by Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA). Florida Center for the Book now invites you to visit these unique literary sites, many of which are open to the public.

This guide to Florida’s Literary Landmarks is arranged as a journey, beginning in the northeast Florida. Your journey may begin just south of Jacksonville, in the town of Fruit Cove, where, in the 1940s and 1950s Woody Guthrie stayed at Beluthahatchee, home of Florida author Stetson Kennedy. It was there that Guthrie wrote numerous folksongs and completed his autobiography, The Seeds of Man. A jog to the southeast will take you to St. Augustine, where you may visit Evergreen Cemetery and the grave of famed English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, who died here in 1886.

As you continue south and inland, you may visit Cross Creek, near Gainesville, the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling and Cross Creek.

Continuing southeast to the coast, you soon come to Daytona Beach and Lilian Place, where Stephen Crane stayed after surviving a disastrous shipwreck off the nearby coast. His book, The Open Boat, is a fictional account of his ordeal. Moving southwest, just outside Orlando, is the town of Eatonville, where Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Returning to the coast, you may visit poet Laura (Riding) Jackson’s cottage in Wabasso; then move on to Stuart, the town where journalist Ernest Lyons lived and worked. Continuing south, you will soon arrive in Fort Lauderdale, where John D. MacDonald’s fictional hero Travis McGee kept his houseboat, the Busted Flush at what is now the Bahia Mar Yachting Center at the Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Resort. Then drive through Surfside where Isaac Bashevis Singer lived and worked in his later years.

Florida’s world-famous Key West was the home or winter home of Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, John Hersey, José Martí, Wallace Stevens, former President Harry S. Truman, and Tennessee Williams.

Your literary journey may now take you to Florida’s southwest Gulf coast and the city of Venice, where Walter Farley, author of the Black Stallion series, lived and worked. A plaque and a permanent display of his work are at the Venice Area Public Library.

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