Best Of 2017

BEST NEW FLORIDA ANTHOLOGY: Shane Hinton’s We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida


Water courses through this collection of Florida stories, poems and essays, from mosquito-breeding puddles to swim-meet swimming pools to the saltwater allure of the gulf to bathtubs filled up in anticipation of a hurricane. The anthology, just out this fall, captures the unsettledness of a landscape where storms loom, sinkholes suddenly appear (even in a squalid motel room), and the pressures of the natural and manmade world erupt into oil spills and road rage while always urging escape — either from or to paradise. UT professor Shane Hinton (whose own book of short stories, Pinkies, is a supreme slice of Florida weirdness) has pulled together a fantastic roster of writers, including Lidia Yuknavitch, John Henry Fleming, Jeff Parker, Sarah Gerard and many more — an essential if dark pool of insights into where and how we live now. —David Warner