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Carl Hiaasen

Bestselling novelist, Newbery Honor winner, and Miami Herald columnist

  • About Carl Hiaasen

    A Florida native, Carl Hiaasen has been writing about the Sunshine State since his father gave him a typewriter at age six. Since 1985, Hiaasen has been writing a column for The Miami Herald, covering everything from local issues like polluted rivers, the criminal justice system, and animal welfare, to national stories like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Trayvon Martin case, Bernie Madoff’s trial, and Florida’s presidential election woes. His sharp observations and eye-opening reporting have earned him three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

    Hiaasen turned to writing novels in the 1980s, first with his friend and fellow journalist, William D. Montalbano. Together they wrote three mystery thrillers – Powder Burn, Trap Line, and Death in China. In 1986 Hiaasen published his first solo novel, Tourist Season. Although the book failed to frighten away the tourists that were transforming Florida from appealing to appalling, the novel garnered much critical acclaim. The London Observer has called him “America’s finest satirical novelist,” while Janet Maslin of The New York Times has compared him to Preston Sturges, Woody Allen, and S.J. Perelman.

    To date, Carl Hiaasen has published 13 novels for adults, among them nine national bestsellers – Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, Lucky You, Sick Puppy, Basket Case, Skinny Dip, Nature Girl, Star Island, and Bad Monkey. Strip Tease, was turned into a major motion picture starring Demi Moore, and directed by Andrew Bergman.

    Hiaasen has also taken his humor and irreverence to the pages of kids’ books, publishing several popular novels for young readers, most recently Skink – No Surrender. Hiaasen’s first novel for young readers, Hoot, was the recipient of numerous awards, including a prestigious Newbery Honor, and was made into a film in 2006. Flush, his second book for kids, spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list. Together, his books have been published in 34 languages.

    Hiaasen has written two non-fiction books. The first, Team Rodent, is a wry but unsparing rant against the Disney empire and its grip on American culture. In the second, The Downhill Lie, Hiaasen chronicles his unlucky return to the sport of golf after a 32-year hiatus. His non-fiction writing has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Time, Esquire, and Gourmet.

    For his journalism and commentary, Hiaasen has received numerous honors, including the Damon Runyon Award from the Denver Press Club and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

  • Speaking Topics

    An evening with Carl Hiaasen

    Spend an evening with the person Dave Barry calls “one of South Florida’s most vital natural resources.” Listening to Carl Hiassen’s powerful convictions about society and the environment, or stories about writing the characters in his bestselling novels, creates an entertaining and utterly hilarious evening.

    In the Shadows of the Sunshine State

    A native Floridian, Carl Hiaasen has much to say about a state dramatically transformed by urban sprawl and development. Growing up on the edge of the Everglades, Hiaasen had front-row seats as he watched the beauty of his home state’s natural riches be destroyed. In his novels and lectures, Hiaasen depicts the greed and corruption that have beckoned the unnatural transformation of Florida. Direct, sometimes outraged, but always funny, Hiaasen’s look at the idiosyncrasies of the Sunshine State is not to be missed.

  • Video

  • Praise for Carl Hiaasen

    Praise for Razor Girl

    [An] immensely wild ride . . . only this author could dream up . . . This is the ultimate beach read for anyone with a taste for Hiaasen’s skewed view of a Florida slouching toward Armageddon.

    Booklist (starred review)

    Praise for Sick Puppy

    Carl Hiaasen once again produces a devilishly funny caper. In Sick Puppy, he shows himself to be a comic writer at the peak of his powers.

    Publisher's Weekly

    Praise for Basket Case

    [A] rollickingly comic and suspenseful adventure.

    Los Angeles Times

    Praise for Hoot

    The story is full of offbeat humor, buffoonish yet charming supporting characters, and genuinely touching scenes of children enjoying the wildness of nature. He deserves a warm welcome into children’s publishing.

    Booklist

    Praise for Flush

    Compulsively readable with a cleverly conceived resolution. . . . Fans of
    spy stories, action, environmental intrigue, and, well, Hiaasen, will cheer for
    this one.

    The Bulletin

    Praise for Scat

    Not many authors are equally successful at writing books for adults and children, but Carl Hiaasen seems to have made an effortless transition … The ingenious plotting makes Scat more engrossing than either of its predecessors.

    The New York Times Book Review

    This well-written and smoothly plotted story, with fully realized characters, will certainly appeal to mystery lovers.

    School Library Journal (starred review)

    Praise for Star Island

    Does anyone remember what we did for fun before novelist Carl Hiaasen began turning out his satirical comedies one after another after another?...Star Island is a concoction worth the time of any reader who wants quality entertainment.

    San Francisco Chronicle

    Praise for Chomp

    Hiaasen’s best for a young audience since Newbery Honor Hoot features a shy, deep-feeling protagonist who’s also a pragmatist and plenty of nature info and age-appropriate cultural commentary…. Humorous adventure tales just don’t get any more wacked…or fun to read than this.

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    Mystery, action, humor, and exotic animals and settings, all tied together by a writer with an exceptional grasp of language, makes this a sure hit with any mystery-loving readers.

    School Library Journal (starred review)

    Praise for Bad Monkey

    [A] comedic marvel . . . [Hiaasen] hasn’t written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip. . . . Beautifully constructed.

    The New York Times

    Praise for The Dance of the Reptiles

    Hiaasen employs a seasoned bullshit detector that is among the most acute in American journalism. . . . If Florida is the poster child for a nation’s fiscal and political disintegration, Hiaasen is the state’s galloping knight (in)errant, slaying the dragons of ineptitude, arrogance and idiocy.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Books by Carl Hiaasen

  • Media About Carl Hiaasen

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