The Florida Keys: A History & Guide is an engaging handbook to the unique coral and limestone islands that curve southwest off the tip of Florida. Acclaimed novelist and Florida resident Joy Williams traces U.S. Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West, combining the best of local legend—colorful stories you won’t find in other guidebooks—with insightful commentary and the most up-to-date advice on where to stay, eat, and wander. Along the way, you will:
• explore the exquisite underwater world of North America’s only living reef
• discover the beautiful bridges that span the Keys, the forts, and the distinctive “conch” architecture of Key West
• experience the eerie serenity of Florida Bay’s “backcountry” and the unique ecology of the Keys
• visit the Key West cemetery and learn about the lives of some of the Keys’ eccentrics—writers, madmen, and entrepreneurs with various delusions
• find the best (and avoid the worst) cafés, inns, and other establishments that the Keys have to offer
Here is the most thorough and candid guide to the Keys, one of the most surprising locales in America. With insight and style, Joy Williams shares with us all of the region’s idiosyncrasies and delights.
About the Author
Joy Williams is the author of novels, collections of short stories, and Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novel The Quick and the Dead was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Strauss Living Fund from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was elected to the Academy in 2008. Williams lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Laramie, Wyoming.
“One of the best guidebooks ever written.”—Condé Nast Traveler
“A magnificent, tragi-comic guide.”—Condé Nast Traveler
“From Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas, novelist Joy Williams has captured the local nuances of the Keys, providing a galaxy of information, including the history of each islet. Flora and fauna, gingerbread architecture and buried treasure—every hamlet, hangout, hotel and eatery is candidly appraised. There’s plenty to see and do in the Keys, and here’s the lowdown from a native.” —The Literate Traveller
“Interwoven with the tourist details are nature lore and historical nuggets guaranteed to change the way you look at the social and ecosystems of the Keys.”—BookPage