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Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor

Colette Bancroft

Colette Bancroft is the book editor of the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the Times in 1997 and has been a news editor, general assignment features writer and food and travel writer, as well as a frequent contributor of reviews of books, theater and other arts. She became book editor in 2007. Before joining the Times, Bancroft was a reporter and editor at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and an instructor in the English departments of the University of South Florida and the University of Arizona. Bancroft grew up in Tampa.

Phone: (727) 893-8435


  1. Born to write: Springsteen autobiography to be published in September



    He's been telling his story in song for half a century, and now Bruce Springsteen has written an autobiography.

    Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that the book, titled (what else?) Born to Run, will be published on Sept. 27 in hardback, e-book and audio formats around the globe.

    According to the S&S press release, Springsteen has been working on the 500-plus-page book for seven years, starting it after he and the E Street Band played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2009....

    Bruce Springsteen's autobiography will be published in September.
  2. Book to stage, stage to book: Harper Lee and J.K. Rowling


    For an 89-year-old who lives in a nursing home, does no interviews and hasn't written a book in decades, Harper Lee generates an astonishing amount of news.

    The latest, announced Wednesday: a Broadway version of To Kill a Mockingbird, coming in 2017. Lee's beloved 1960 novel is in star-studded hands. Stage and screen superproducer and EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner) Scott Rudin acquired the rights to develop the play and hired Bartlett Sher (one Tony win, six nominations, most recently for South Pacific) as director and Oscar- and Emmy-winner Aaron Sorkin to write the play....

    Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" will become a Broadway play next year.
  3. Notable: Real loves



    Real loves

    These three new novels are based on real women, including their romantic lives.

    The Arrangement (Viking) by Ashley Warlick tells the intriguing story of the love triangle that shaped both the personal life and career of the brilliant and influential food writer and memoirist M.F.K. Fisher.

    Platinum Doll (Mira Books) by Anne Girard is a fictional recounting of the meteoric rise to stardom of one of Hollywood's earliest stars, Jean Harlow, and the tragic chaos her success created in her marriage....

  4. Review: Strout's 'My Name Is Lucy Barton' a memorable story of a mother and daughter


    Hospital rooms often double as confessionals, especially when a patient's life might be in the balance. Between sterile and impersonal walls, accompanied by the heedless, steady beeps and blips of medical machinery, stories spill out and unspoken emotions are given voice.

    Just such a room is the setting for Elizabeth Strout's memorable new novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. The narrator of the title recounts for us, about three decades after it happened, a hospital stay of almost nine weeks she endured when she was an aspiring young writer in the mid 1980s. After a routine appendectomy, she was struck by a mysterious, stubborn infection. "I had a husband and two small daughters at home; I missed my girls terribly, and I worried about them so much I was afraid it was making me sicker."...
  5. Events: Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins to appear in Sarasota


    Book Talk

    Poynter Institute senior scholar Roy Peter Clark (The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing) will discuss and sign his book at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

    The February Local Author Meet 'n' Greet at Robert W. Saunders Public Library will feature 15 authors, including Fred Hearns (Getting It Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick by Brick), Shan Mahogany (Emphasis on Love) and Ersula Odom (African Americans of Tampa), at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the library, 1505 Nebraska Ave., Tampa....

  6. Poet David Kirby receives Florida Humanities Council's lifetime achievement in writing award


    Lifetime achievement awards, David Kirby says, are usually handed out by organizations like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "So I see this as the equivalent of the Oscar."

    "This" is the news that Kirby, a talented and prolific poet and essayist and the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University, has been named the seventh recipient of the Florida Humanities Council's Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing. An independent panel of five judges (of which I was one) selected him from a field of 19 nominees, calling him "one of Florida's literary treasures."...

     Poet, critic and Florida State University professor David Kirby is the 2016 recipient of the Florida Lifetime Achievement in Writing Award. Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University Press.
  7. Review: Rankin's Rebus in fine form in 'Even Dogs in the Wild'


    There's one striking detail in Scottish writer Ian Rankin's new novel, Even Dogs in the Wild, that sharply reminds us the story is not set in the United States. After someone shoots the son of a crime boss in Edinburgh, a city of about half a million people, one of the investigators suggests it's a copycat of an earlier shooting. His Police Scotland colleague is incredulous:

    " 'Meaning what?' Fox enquired. 'Another gunman? That hardly sounds likely. How many nine-millimetre pistols are being lugged around the city?' "...

  8. Events: The Rev. Kenny Irby to discuss Coates' 'Between the World and Me.'


    Book Talk

    Cathedral Church of St. Peter's book talk series presents the Rev. Kenny Irby of Bethel AME Church discussing Ta-Nehisi Coates' memoir Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award, at noon Tuesday at the cathedral, 140 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Free; lunch available, $5.

    Poynter Institute senior scholar Roy Peter Clark (The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing) will discuss and sign his book at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Petersburg Main Library, 3745 9th Ave N....

  9. Oh, Barbie: Your changing body still keeps adults talking


    Barbie finally ate a sandwich!

    After more than half a century of boasting a waistline that in real life would measure about 18 inches, the Barbie doll will now be available in a "curvy" version, Mattel Inc. announced Thursday, along with "tall" and "petite" models as well as "original Barbie."

    As she has many times before, Barbie is adapting to changing times. The doll has been a target of controversy from the beginning: I was 6 when Barbie debuted, and I can recall our parish priest earnestly admonishing parents not to buy the sexy dolls for us, pretty much deeming them the spawn of Satan....

    This photo provided by Mattel shows a new, curvy Barbie Fashionista doll introduced in January 2016. Mattel, the maker of the famous plastic doll, said it will start selling Barbie's in three new body types: tall, curvy and petite. She'll also come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. [Mattel via AP]
  10. Notable: This is your brain in books



    This is your brain in books

    These books take on the always interesting question of the brain trying to understand itself.

    The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries From the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity (Penguin) by Norman Doidge, a psychiatrist, looks at how the brain can change its own structure and function to respond to autism, strokes, chronic pain, Alzheimer's and more. ...

  11. Review: Berne's 'Dogs of Littlefield' has plenty of bite


    Suzanne Berne's The Dogs of Littlefield is a crisp, entertaining, darkish comedy of manners that might leave you doubting every "best-of" list you've ever read.

    The book's fictional setting, a small town in Massachusetts, has placed sixth on a Wall Street Journal list of "Twenty Best Places to Live in America."

    What makes Littlefield great? "Leafy streets, old Victorian houses, fine public schools and a small university. ... home to roughly one percent of the nation's psychotherapists."...

  12. Events: Tim Dorsey to sign 'Coconut Cowboy' in Largo, Clearwater


    Book Talk

    Tampa author Tim Dorsey (Coconut Cowboy) will discuss and sign his new book at 1 p.m. Jan. 31 at Book Bank, 13002 Seminole Blvd., No. 8 (Piccadilly Square), Largo; and at 3 p.m. Jan. 31 at Countryside Library, 2642 Sabal Springs Drive, Clearwater.

    The Tampa Bay History Center presents Richard Brown and Paul Cohen (Revolution: Mapping the Road to Independence) discussing their book about maps and the American Revolution at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 at the center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa....

  13. PEN America honors J.K. Rowling with free speech award


    Forget it, Death Eaters. Don't try any silencing charms on J.K. Rowling.

    The hugely bestselling author of the Harry Potter books, a longtime advocate against censorship and crusader for other worthy causes, has been named one of this year's recipients of the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award.

    In a statement to the Associated Press, Rowling said, "I'm deeply honored to receive this award and humbled that my work has been recognized as having moral value by an organization I so admire. I've long been a supporter of PEN, which does invaluable work on behalf of imprisoned writers and in defense of freedom of speech."...

    Author J.K. Rowling will receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award.
  14. Dennis Lehane drops into St. Petersburg for a riveting reading


    Dennis Lehane is a guy who can laugh at himself.

    The bestselling author (Mystic River, Shutter Island, World Gone By) and screenwriter (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) was at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg on Saturday to appear in the final night of the reading series presented by Writers in Paradise. The 12th annual writers conference is, Lehane said, his "baby" -- an Eckerd alum, he co-founded Writers in Paradise with now-retired writing program director Sterling Watson....

    Dennis Lehane read from his novel in progress Saturday night at the Writers in Paradise reading series.
  15. Review: 'Easy Rider' gets a Florida spin in Dorsey's 'Coconut Cowboy'


    Road trip!

    That could be the motto for all of Tampa author Tim Dorsey's wacky novels about Serge Storms, devoted Floridaphile and fantasy-fulfilling serial killer.

    In Dorsey's latest, Coconut Cowboy (which takes its title from a nostalgic detail of Serge's childhood), Serge finds inspiration for his own road trip in search of the American Dream in one of the most iconic road trips in film history: Easy Rider....