Sunday, September 23, 2018
Books

What’s Doris Weatherford reading?

Nightstand

Doris Weatherford

Weatherford, 74, first realized her interest in women’s studies about 50 years ago as a student enrolled in a summer program at Harvard University. She had begun digging for statistics and other information surrounding female immigrants in America. "I quickly realized there really wasn’t anything done on women immigrants yet,’’ she said in a recent phone interview. Although it would be another two decades before Weatherford published the results of that research in Foreign and Female: Immigrant Writers in America, the experience helped her recognize her passion for the subject. Other books soon followed, including A History of the American Suffragist Movement, Women and American Politics: History and Milestones and her newest release, They Dared to Dream: Florida Women Who Shaped History.

Weatherford is also a well-known political activist who writes a column for La Gaceta and historian who was appointed by Lawton Chiles to serve as a trustee at Hillsborough Community College. She is also a past chairwoman of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.

On Nov. 11, Weatherford, a Seffner resident, will be a featured author at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading.

What’s on your nightstand?

I always keep light stuff on my nightstand, so I can get to sleep. I have Cocktail Time by P.G. Wodehouse. I’ve read and reread him all my life. My favorite characters are his Emsworth and the domineering sister (Lady Constance Keeble). I love his loony British gentry and servants who are always smarter than the upper class. He makes fun of the upper class in a gentle, loving way. I enjoy his use of words. He helps you go to sleep with a smile. I also have reread the Calvin and Hobbes comic books. I think they are so funny.

When you are not going to sleep, what do you like to read to get your blood pumping?

I read a lot of nonfiction. I just finished two books by friends: Susan MacManus’ Florida’s Minority Trailblazers, in which she describes the various ethnicities and races who have been elected to office in Florida. I also just finished a book called Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers’ Project by Catherine Stewart. It’s an examination of the Federal Writers project, the slave narratives in particular. We were one of the few states who had a woman who headed it. That was Carita Doggett Corse. She did a good job. She had good qualifications. She had a degree from Columbia University. She was married and it was unusual to give a married woman a job at that time. I think someone in Washington, D.C., probably said she should do it. I also would like to mention that I am a "classic over cool’’ kind of person. I read the old stuff. I don’t read bestsellers unless they were bestsellers a long time ago, and I like to assign myself a group of things. Recently I read a group of Pulitzer plays written by women. I’m also interested in doing the same type of things with Newbery winners. I do think children’s lit is informative in changing times. While my daughter was home, I could see through her eyes more easily with Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

Comments
Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

On a fall night in 1915, an American reporter sips Chartreuse at a sidewalk table as German Zeppelins patrol the perimeter of Paris. As he plans how to finagle his way to the front lines of World War I, a bomb explodes at another cafe nearby, and he ...
Published: 09/21/18
Novelist, USF professor Karen Brown drawn by the voices of stories of loss

Novelist, USF professor Karen Brown drawn by the voices of stories of loss

Karen BrownBrown teaches creative writing at the University of South Florida and is the author of several books, including The Longing of Wayward Girls and the short story collection Pins and Needles. On Nov. 17, Brown will be a featured author at th...
Published: 09/21/18
Joyce Maynard looks back at life with Salinger at the #MeToo moment

Joyce Maynard looks back at life with Salinger at the #MeToo moment

In 1972, Joyce Maynard wrote an essay for the New York Times Magazine called "An 18-Year-Old Looks Back at Life." It won her instant fame — and a letter from J.D. Salinger, renowned author of Catcher in the Rye and other fiction, who was then 53 year...
Published: 09/14/18
Review: Ben Montgomery’s ‘Man Who Walked Backward’ lets readers step into history

Review: Ben Montgomery’s ‘Man Who Walked Backward’ lets readers step into history

Did Plennie Wingo make any progress going backward?That’s the question at the heart of The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer’s Search for Meaning in the Great Depression, an engaging new book by former Tampa Bay Times staff writer Ben Mont...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
It’s no mystery why fans, authors gathered for Bouchercon in St. Petersburg

It’s no mystery why fans, authors gathered for Bouchercon in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURGLast Wednesday through Sunday, the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel teemed with people who write and read about bloody murder. It was a remarkably friendly and cheerful crowd. Detroit novelist Stephen Mack Jones had an explanation: "Writing abou...
Published: 09/11/18
Times Festival of Reading 2018: Get the full lineup of authors here

Times Festival of Reading 2018: Get the full lineup of authors here

A novelist whose book won raves from Oprah and Obama, the scholar who brought Zora Neale Hurston’s long-lost interview with a former slave to print, two Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction writers, a bestselling satirical novelist, a beloved memoirist ...
Updated one month ago
Welcome to Florida, a land of mysteries – including why mullet jump

Welcome to Florida, a land of mysteries – including why mullet jump

Florida is a land full of mysteries. Why do we call it "the Sunshine State" when every major city gets more rain than Seattle? Why, after a hurricane destroys our homes with flooding and storm surge, do we rebuild in exactly the same spot? Perhaps th...
Updated one month ago
Review: Gary Shteyngart’s ‘Lake Success’ a comic tale of a 1-percenter

Review: Gary Shteyngart’s ‘Lake Success’ a comic tale of a 1-percenter

One night young lawyer Seema Cohen went to a Vogue party hosted by billionaire Michael Bloomberg and there met the man who would become her husband. At first, she wasn’t sure she liked the glad-handing middle-aged hedge fund guy who was clearly...
Updated one month ago
Retired journalist David Lawrence Jr.’s reading still centers on news

Retired journalist David Lawrence Jr.’s reading still centers on news

David Lawrence Jr.In 1999, at the age of 56, Lawrence decided to retire from his post as publisher of the Miami Herald after decades in journalism. Since then, he has focused on a life’s passion, advocating for children by leading the Children’s Move...
Updated one month ago