The first author I want to share with you is one of my favorites, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. In 1928, Rawlings purchased a 72 acre orange grove outside of Hawthorne, Florida in a hamlet called Cross Creek. Her homestead in Cross Creek is now a Historic State Park. http://www.floridastateparks.org/marjoriekinnanrawlings/
It's worth the trip there to see this quaint and peaceful place. I have been there several times and I would love to live there myself. There is a certain romanticism surrounding her life in Cross Creek, and the connection she had with her rural neighbors inspired the characters in several of her books.
Gregory Peck as Ezra Baxter, Jane Wyman as Ora Baxter, and Claude Jarman, Jr. as Jody. The story also takes place in the backwoods of Florida. I suggest reading the book before watching the movie.
Next I would read her books in order by date published, if you can still find them in print. I happen to own several first editions that were given to me by a friend of Rawlings, Alice Kirkland. Ms Alice used to walk with Rawlings on the beach at Cresent Beach, Florida when they both had summer cottages there.
As a side note, Marjorie stayed extensively at the Castle, a mansion turned hotel, and is now the Riplyey's Believe it or Not Odditorium in St. Augustine, Florida. If you ever get the chance to go there, take the time to visulize the Odditorium as a hotel that she stayed in with her first husband, Charles Rawlings. It's Moorish Revival style architecture is very opulent.
A few of her books:Cross Creek (1942)~also as a movie
When The Whippoorwill (1940)
The Yearling (1938)~earned her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939
Golden Apples (1935)
South Moon Under (1933)
Jacob's Ladder (1950)
Gal Young Un (1932)
The Sojourner (1953)
The Secret River (1955)
Starring: Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote, Alfre Woodard and Dana Hill. One of my favorite movies. You will most certainly enjoy it. If you have read the books and viewed the movies, please click on The Library Geek page just under my header and leave a comment. I'd love to know what you think.~Ames
4-14-2011: I am reposting and linking to Jenny Matlock's blog (off on my tangent). You can get there by clicking here: