Former Flagler College professor Laura Smith will launch her debut novel, “Heart of Palm,” in the college’s Flagler Room on April 5.
Photo Credit: Zach Thomas
March 22, 2013
Former Flagler College adjunct professor of English Laura Smith will launch her debut novel, “Heart of Palm,” with a reading in the college’s Flagler Room at 6:30 p.m. on April 5.
“Launching this book at Flagler College is tremendously meaningful to me,” said Smith, who still does some freelance writing for the college. “I started thinking about this book in a classroom on the fourth floor of Kenan Hall in 2004. And now it’s here.”
“Heart of Palm,” which is being published by Grove Press, is a portrait of a small town undergoing rapid development, and one dysfunctional, unforgettable family choosing between a comfortable — if unfulfilling — status quo, and the upheaval that comes with the promise of the new.
The novel also features some familiar settings from St. Augustine.
“The college makes an appearance or two in the novel, as do several other St. Augustine landmarks,” said Smith. “I tried to capture that unique small-town spark we have here, the oddities and cultural tics we all love about this place. The college, to me, always seems to be standing sentry in this little city. In many ways, it’s been standing sentry for the book, too.”
Smith's short fiction has been selected for inclusion in “New Stories from the South 2010” and she’s been published in The Florida Review, Natural Bridge, Bayou and other journals.
“Flagler College has supported me, my writing and my family in more ways than I can count,” said Smith. “The faculty, administration, staff and students here have been the absolute bedrock of my creative efforts. I can never express how grateful I am to them for their support and their friendship.”
“Heart of Palm” will be released on April 2, 2013. Smith’s book tour will continue through April.
The Flagler Room is located inside Ponce de Leon Hall, 74 King St., St. Augustine. For more info, call 904-819-6205.