Prof. William McKeen won the Florida Book Award gold medal for Mile Marker Zero, a rollicking look at Key West.

From a profile of McKeen’s book in The Gainesville Sun:

Through the eyes of writers and artists like Tom Corcoran, Tom McGuane and Russell Chatham, McKeen takes readers to the two-by-four mile town during the ’70s, an era he compares to Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian days in the ’20s — if the City of Light was tropical.

“‘Mile Marker Zero’ is gonzo journalism at its best,” a statement from the jury reads, according to Florida Book Awards executive board chair Gloria Colvin. “If you ever wondered about the artistic cauldron that produced Jim Harrison, Russell Chatham, Jimmy Buffett and Hunter S. Thompson, this book is a must.”

McKeen went to The Keys on assignment twice while he was working on his book, a process that started in 2009 and would often unfold on Thursdays. (McKeen says he likes writing on this day in particular because “the tragedies of the week have arisen and been dealt with.”)

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