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Novelist Carl Hiaasen: You can scream about injustice or you can use humor

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'Razor Girl' by Carl Hiaasen
'Razor Girl' by Carl Hiaasen
Courtesy of publisher

Carl Hiaasen's home state of Florida gives him a lot to laugh about.

Offbeat crime stories from the Sunshine State frequently make headlines across the country. One such gem inspired the opening of his new book, "Razor Girl."

It starts with a car crash: A woman hits another car from behind because she's too busy shaving her bikini area to watch the road. Yes, that really happened in Key West in 2010 — and Hiaasen spins off his fiction from there. 

For Talking Volumes, Hiaasen joined MPR New host Kerri Miller to discuss "Razor Girl" and why humor is the sometimes the best answer. Hiassen is the author of more than a dozen books, and he writes a weekly column for the Miami Herald. 

"I think this is a year where everybody is desperate to laugh," he said. "It does keep your sanity."

"For those of us who are perpetually pissed off, there's a therapy to reading [satire] and there's a therapy to writing it. Believe me — I'd be doing it whether it was getting published or not. It's a socially acceptable outlet for some of my anger. But I think if you talk to a lot of writers who write humor and satire, at the root of all of it is anger and indignation — a sense of outrage about injustice."

"You can go two ways. You can get on a soapbox and scream and yell about it, or you can use the weapon of humor ... It's far more effective."

For the full Talking Volumes interview with Carl Hiaasen, use the audio player above. Tickets are still available for upcoming Talking Volumes events.