After leaving their failed farm in West Virginia, Jared Teeter and his family make their way to Florida, with dreams of fishing, going to the beach, and running their own roadside produce stand. What they find instead is a nightmare in a migrant labor camp, where they become the indentured servants of a soulless crew chief and his mindless henchmen. Vacillating between hope and despair, Jared must stay alert—and alive—to rescue his own family and the prisoners around him from a life of continued degradation.
In the year before he wrote Angel City, Patrick Smith did what he called “physical research," disguising himself and joining migrant crews as they picked whatever vegetable was in season. He mentally recorded the events he encountered and wrote the novel is just a few weeks. His reason for writing Angel City? “The first step toward eliminating injustice is to expose it," he said. Angel City was made into a TV movie in 1980.
A native of Mendenhall, Mississippi, Patrick Smith earned both a B.A. and a master's degree in English from the University of Mississippi. He moved to Florida in 1966 and began writing the novels about Florida that would make bring him lifelong recognition: The River Is Home, The Beginning, Forever Island, Angel City, Allapattah, and A Land Remembered. Smith has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize: in 1973 for Forever Island, which was a 1974 selection of Reader's Digest Condensed Books; in 1978 for Angel City, which was produced as a movie of the week for the CBS television network; and in 1984 for A Land Remembered, which was an Editors' Choice selection of the New York Times Book Review. In the annual statewide Best of Florida poll conducted by Florida Monthly Magazine, A Land Remembered has been ranked #1 Best Florida Book eight times. In 1985 Smith's lifetime work was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1999 he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, which is the highest cultural honor bestowed by the state of Florida. In May 2002 Smith was the recipient of the Florida Historical Society's Fay Schweim Award as the “Greatest Living Floridian.” The one-time-only award was established to honor the one individual who has contributed the most to Florida in recent history. Additionally, Smith earned the 2012 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing presented by the Florida Humanities Council. The judges felt that “Patrick Smith's books have been hugely significant to the citizens of Florida . . . [and] that A Land Remembered is an iconic Florida book that has resonated with generations of Floridians in helping people understand the history of this remarkable state.”