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August 12 , 2009


Notes from a Coastal Columnist


Far from the myth of surf, sand, and orange juice, Mark Lane's snapshots of life in the Sunshine State are more likely to feature gargantuan insects than bikini-clad coeds.

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Lane has spent nearly thirty years as a reporter and writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Often compared to Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry, Jeff Klinkenberg, or Roy Blount Jr., over the past decade his columns have built an intensely loyal following.

Lane's writing is a model of crisp prose. But he is hard to pin down. One moment full of cynicism from decades of listening to fast-talking real-estate developers and lawyers, the next displaying a fierce defensiveness to those who would sweep away the honky-tonk bars and alligator farms that, in his opinion, define the state.

His trips to the all-U-can-eat buffet of Florida eccentricities include gardening in a five-season climate (spring, summer, ultrasummer, fallish, and winterish), insights on home fortifications in the face of oncoming hurricanes (definition of an optimist: somebody who takes down his plywood), notes on the World's Most Famous Beach, and commentary on the two biggest shows in the state: NASCAR and state politics.

Sandspurs will allow readers nationwide to discover one of Florida's most gifted writers.

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