TRIVIA: Un­der the au­thors’ sun

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY KEVIN FRITZ

If you’re the type who likes to dive into a clas­sic on va­ca­tion, why not com­bine your love of lit­er­a­ture with vis­it­ing for­mer res­i­dences of some of the most es­teemed writ­ers in Amer­i­can his­tory? Florida was and is a bas­tion for many great nov­el­ists, and their per­sonal sto­ries can be as fas­ci­nat­ing as the prose they once cre­ated be­neath the sway­ing palms of the Sun­shine State.

Did you know Jack Ker­ouac lived in two Florida cities, St. Peters­burg and Or­lando? It was in the lat­ter at 1418-½ Clouser Av­enue at which the On the Road au­thor re­ceived word his Amer­i­can clas­sic was be­ing pub­lished. The house still stands and serves as a writ­ers-in-res­i­dence stu­dio. Ker­ouac moved to St. Pete on the Gulf coast in 1964 with his third wife, Stella, where he died five years later at age 47. Plans to pre­serve the house at 5169 10th Ave. N. are un­der­way.

Who knew the once sleepy town of Key West would be­come a mag­net for so many revered writ­ers? It is be­lieved that

Ten­nessee Wil­liams cre­ated the fi­nal draft of A Street­car Named De­sire while stay­ing at the La Con­cha Hotel in Key West in the 1940s. In 1950, Wil­liams bought a house at 1431 Dun­can Street, where he lived out his fi­nal 34 years. While the house still stands, it is a pri­vate res­i­dence. How­ever, a free ex­hibit pay­ing homage to Wil­liams’s prowess is on dis­play be­hind the Key West Busi­ness Guild Visitor Cen­ter.

While you’re in Key West, don’t for­get to drop by the Ernest Hem­ing­way Home & Mu­seum at 907 White­head Street, where the au­thor wrote master­pieces For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Snows of Kil­i­man­jaro.

Fan of the fa­mous poet Robert Frost?

Seek out his Conch Repub­lic cot­tage be­hind a house on 410 Caro­line Street, which he called home for 15 years.

Few re­al­ize that The Year­ling au­thor’s home now makes up a pub­lic park in Florida called the Mar­jorie Kin­nan

Rawl­ings His­toric State Park. Tucked away just south of Gainesville in the tiny ham­let of Cross Creek, Rawl­ings also wrote the novel Cross Creek, an ex­cel­lent read be­fore your next visit to Florida de­pict­ing her thoughts of the ru­ral re­gion.

Zora Neale Hurston is known for putting Ea­tonville on the map—the na­tion’s first in­cor­po­rated all-black town­ship lo­cated just north of Or­lando. In or­der to visit her home, you need to travel to Fort Pierce on Florida’s east coast. If you are in the Or­lando area, you can visit the Zora Neale Hurston Na­tional Mu­seum of Fine Arts to get a glimpse in­side the leg­end’s life.

TOP: The Ernest Hem­ing­way Home & Mu­seum in Key West. CEN­TER: Zora Neale Hurston's home in Ea­tonville. BOT­TOM: Mar­jorie Kin­nan Rawl­ings House near Gainesville.

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