Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators
More Stories about Real Florida

Jeff Klinkenberg

Foreword by Gary Mormino and Raymond Arsenault, Series Editors

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A delightful new collection from the best-selling author of Seasons of Real Florida

"A skilled writer, he knows when to listen and when to nudge each short story along."--Publishers Weekly

"Klinkenberg uncovers the beauty and mystery of his home state."--Southern Living

"Reminds you of hopping in the back of a friend's truck for a ride. But this one takes you beyond the sunny skies and high-rises and into the past."--Miami Herald

"Klinkenberg explores what's left of the Florida that existed before it was invaded by Disney and developers. . . . His beautifully crafted sentences--this is not mere journalism--astutely evoke people and places."--Tampa Tribune and Times

"If Jeff Klinkenberg isn't careful," says Carl Hiaasen, "he might give journalism a good name."

Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators provides a welcome opportunity for readers to discover the character--and characters--of "real" Florida. In this compilation, drawn in part from his award-winning columns, Klinkenberg celebrates some of the Sunshine State's most distinctive personalities, including the original Coppertone girl and the actor who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Along the way, he travels to swamps, rickety piers, and Florida's only cook-your-own pancake restaurant.

Ranging from light and comical to wistful and nostalgic, Klinkenberg roams the state from panhandle to the keys, looking to answer the question, "What makes Florida Florida?" Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of longtime fans or readers new to his work.

Jeff Klinkenberg wrote for the Tampa Bay Times from 1977 to 2014. He is the winner of the Florida Humanities Council 2018 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing; a two-time winner of the Paul Hansell Distinguished Journalism Award, the highest honor given by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors; and a recipient of a 2018 Florida Folk Heritage Award. He is the author of Alligators in B-Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida; Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida; and Seasons of Real Florida.

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Florida Book Award for Florida Nonfiction, Bronze - 2008

"It's clear on every page that Klinkenberg has lived several worthy lifetimes in Florida, that he loves the place immoderately, and that he laments the state's transformation, along with the rest of the nation, into a land of tatty strip malls and soul-killing cul-de-sacs." "Gracefully written, endlessly entertaining book, a gift for all who love the real Florida."
--St. Petersburg Times

"He has taken what in another journalist's hands migh be a nostalgic trip down a well-worn road and turned it into a celebration of the soul of a place."
--South Florida Sun-Sentinel

" Klinkenberg's skilled storytelling is indulgent, as he reveals both the beauty and the underbelly of our fair state."
--duPont Registry Tampa Bay

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