It’s 1961, and everything is changing in Florida. Jim Crow strains to maintain its hold, the Cold War escalates, the US space program hits its stride, and the Jewish Goldensdetermined to begin a new pastoral life along Florida’s central east coastare just trying to hold on to their small orange grove near the excitement of Cape Canaveral. In Goldens Are Here, Andrew Furman imagines with great empathy the individual members of the Golden family, their unique struggles and dreams, during a single tumultuous citrus season. Inspired by true events surrounding a historic Florida citrus season and the civil rights struggle, Goldens Are Here offers a glimpse of the sea changes occurring in Florida and the nation in the 1960s through the prism of one family’s negotiations for the land, with their neighbors, and with each other.
|Publisher:||Green Writers Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Andrew Furman teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author, most recently, of the memoir Bitten: My Unexpected Love Affair with Florida (2014), which was named a Finalist for the ASLE Environmental Book Award. His fiction and creative nonfiction frequently engages with the Florida outdoors, but he has also written about basketball, lighthouses, swimming, and cast-iron cookware. His essays and stories have appeared in such publications as the Oxford American, The Southern Review, Ecotone, Terrain.org, and The Florida Review.
On Christmas night in 1951, the Civil Rights worker Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriet Moore, were murdered by a bomb planted beneath their Mims, Florida, home.Eleven years later, the citrus groves in the prized Indian River Citrus District surrounding Mims suffered tremendous losses in the Big Freeze of 1962. Before the specific idea for a novel set among the small towns, scruffy pine flatwoods, and orange groves of east-central Florida took shape, I found myself intrigued by these two local storiesone social and one environmentalthat played out against the backdrop of the Cold War and NASA’s Project Mercury. Today, we celebrate this region of Florida primarily as our Space Coast, yet a novel that imagined characters here living lives less public than our first astronauts (but no less dramatic) seemed like one worth exploring.Goldens Are Hereis not about the Moores’ lynching or the Big Freeze, specifically, but these events prompted me to imagine certain characters and their stories to explore the intersections between our relationship with the land and our relationships with one another.
I consulted several sources as I wrote this novel. I encourage those readers interested in learning more about the life of Harry T. Moore and his still-unsolved murder to readBefore His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America’s First Civil Rights Martyr, by Ben Green (The Free Press, 1999). Other works that were especially useful to me regarding the racial dynamics of the Jim Crow era includeThe Warmth of Other Suns,by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House, 2010);Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America,by Laura Wexler (Scribner, 2003); and the various works of Stetson Kennedy. Readers interested in the citrus industry and citrus fruits generally might wish to consult the following texts:Oranges,by John McPhee (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1967);Citrus Growing in Florida,by Larry K. Jackson and Frederick S. Davies (The University Press of Florida, 1999);Citrus,by Pierre Laszlo (The University of Chicago Press, 2007);Citrus Fruits,by H. Harold Hume (The Macmillan Company, 1957);Biology of Citrus,by P. Spiegel-Roy and E. E. Goldschmidt (Cambridge University Press, 1996);Hesperides; A History of the Culture and Use of Citrus Fruits,by Samuel Tolkowsky (J. Bale, Sons, & Curnow, Limited, 1938); and finally, the book that should be on every botanist’s and writer’s nightstand,The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America: Or, the Culture, Propagation, and Management, in the Garden and Orchard, of Fruit Trees Generally,by A. J. Downing (Wiley and Putnam, 1845).