Key West's literary heritage is overwhelmingly associated with one writer: Ernest Hemingway. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winner's former home is a popular museum. And every summer there's a look-alike contest where white-bearded men compete to look like Papa.

But recently, the island has turned to celebrating another 20th-century writer who made Key West his home: Tennessee Williams. 

John Walther / Miami Herald staff

Much has been written about the close bonds forged between Jews and African-Americans in Miami in the 1950s at the start of the civil rights movement.  But a more complex, conflicted side of that relationship has fired the imagination of local novelist Joan Lipinsky Cochran.  

Phyllis Rose

Key West’s literary community was already gathered over the weekend for the annual Literary Seminar when they learned they had lost one of their own. Novelist Robert Stone died Saturday in Key West. He was 77.

01/05/15 - Monday’s Topical Currents features our literary contributor, Ariel Gonzalez and an interview with acclaimed British author Martin Amis.  He’s the son of novelist Kingsley Amis—and has published more than 20 books since his days at Oxford.

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As the year winds down, some of us find ourselves with some extra time off and maybe a little more time to read over the next few days. So we asked Miami Herald book editor Connie Ogle to tell us about some of her favorite books of 2014.

The Herald put together a top 10 list. Click here to see it.

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Miami Book Fair International / Courtesy

South Florida knows how to throw a party. And it better, considering how important hospitality is to the regional economy. From conferences and conventions to fairs and festivals, the event business picks up as temperatures up north drop. Some are for out-of-towners exclusively, others celebrate South Florida for South Floridians.

To get a sense of the economics and local emotions involved, The Sunshine Economy spoke with the driving forces behind four big events that dot the South Florida map.

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Mark DeNote doesn't teach his middle school history students about beer. But he did write Florida's history of "the drink of the working class" in his book, "The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide."

Joyce Tenneson /

From the opening pages of poet Richard Blanco’s refreshing memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” it’s clear that you’re not wandering Calle Ocho in one of those nostalgic, Little Havana paradises that so many Cuban-American chronicles try to recreate.

Instead, you’re wandering a Winn Dixie in Westchester.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Say you walk into an office building. On the reception desk is a nice, lush, green-leafed plant with white dots on it. You think, “how nice and outdoorsy.”

Chances are it's a deathly, toxic plant called a "dumb cane."

That's one of the tidbits included in Michael Largo's most recent publication, "The Big, Bad Book of Botany." It’s an encyclopedia-style book about botany sprinkled with surprising, funny and historical tales of plants.