There is nothing quite like the Miami Book Fair. No other literary event offers as many options for fans to interact with their favorite authors. The range is vast and includes hard-hitting news, fanciful fiction, LGBTI+ authors, culinary demonstrations, comics, historical explorations, mysteries, romances, politics, Caribbean writers and just about every literary genre that a fan could wish for. In this post, we’ll help you focus on a few areas of interest at the Fair, including opening day.
The Fair runs from November 11 — 18, with signature events on opening day featuring Laura Esquivel, Tina Brown, Liane Moriarty, Jaime Bayly and more. There are events throughout the week. The Street Fair begins on Friday, November 16, including the opening of Children’s Alley which features an amazing lineup of programming for younger readers. The Miami Book Fair concludes on Sunday, November 18, at the end of a very full day of talks, demonstrations, performances and a treasure trove of offerings from the many vendors lining the streets.
Author Programs on Opening Day:
4 p.m., Una Tarde Con Laura Esquivel/An Afternoon with Laura Esquivel, MDC’s Wolfson Campus Auditorium (Room 1261), Free
The Ibero-American Authors Program opens the 35th edition of the Miami Book Fair featuring award-winning Mexican novelist, essayist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel. Her first bestseller Como agua para chocolate (1989) was followed by La ley del amor (1995), Tan veloz como el deseo (2001), Malinche (2006) and A Lupita le gustaba planchar (2014). This year, she presents her last two novels El diario de Tita and Mi negro pasado, which continue the saga of Como agua para chocolate. This event is in Spanish with simultaneous interpretation into English.
5 p.m., An Evening with Tina Brown, MDC’s Chapman Conference Center (Bldg. 3, Second floor)
Tina Brown is an award-winning writer and editor, and founder of the Women in the World Summit. Between 1979 and 2001 she was the editor of Tattler, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. Her 2007 biography of the Princess of Wales, The Diana Chronicles topped the New York Times bestseller list. In 2008, she founded the award-winning news site, The Daily Beast. The Vanity Fair Diaries: Power, Wealth, Celebrity and Dreams: My Years at the Magazine That Defined a Decade (Picador) is the story of an Englishwoman barely out of her twenties who is summoned to New York in hopes that she can save Condé Nast’s troubled flagship, Vanity Fair. Brown is plunged into the maelstrom of the competitive New York media world and the backstabbing rivalries at the court of the planet’s slickest, most glamour-focused magazine company. Astute, open-hearted, often riotously funny, Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries is a compulsively fascinating and intimate chronicle of a woman’s life in a glittering era.
6 p.m., Lo nuevo de Jaime Bayly, MDC’s Wolfson Campus Auditorium (Room 1261), Free
Jaime Bayly was born in Peru. He is an Emmy-winning writer, journalist and a television personality. For the past 28 years, Bayly has been making television. He is the author of several novels, such as No se lo digas a nadie (1994), La noche es virgen (1997) and El niño terrible y la escritora maldita (2016). His new literary work Pecho frío (Vintage), a satirical fiction and humorous novel, explores homosexuality in Latin American society and challenges the status quo. This event is in Spanish.
7 p.m., A Conversation with Liane Moriarty, MDC Chapman Conference Center (Bldg. 3, Second floor)
Liane Moriarty is the author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, which was adapted into an award-winning series on HBO. In Moriarty’s latest, Nine Perfect Strangers (Flatiron Books), nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are there to lose weight, some to get a reboot on life, some for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, all nine characters know their stay might involve some real work. But none of them can imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
Free on Opening Day:
The Porch opens with music, food trucks, giant outdoor games, a community coloring wall from The Wynwood Coloring Book, Silent Poetry Disco, curated by the Academy of American Poets, an outdoor photo exhibit highlight 35 years of the Fair curated by the Wolfson Archives, and the Miami Stories Recording Booth, and more.
Fairgoers can enjoy Exquisite Corpse, a perfect parlor game involving elements of unpredictability, chance and group collaboration.
Latin-Grammy nominated producer and DJ, Mr. Pauer, spins his unique Miami sound, Electrópico, a fusion of electronica and music born between the Tropics.
Miami Based Authors:
Brett Sokol Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980 Miami Beach- based photographer known for his documentary photography and street photography, primarily the life and residents of South Beach, with a particular focus on the Jewish community, many of them Holocaust survivors. (Sun., 11/18, 1pm & 2pm, 7128)
Brian Bandell, Silence the Living In Brian Bandell’s science fiction thriller, Silence the Living (Silver Leaf Books) a former police officer who carries in her blood the deadliest substance on the planet, must battle aliens, vengeful humans, and her conscience, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. (Sun., 11/18, 3:30pm, 1365)
Hector Duarte, Jr. current editor at The Flash Fiction Offensive. His work has appeared, among many other places, in Shotgun Honey, Spelk Fiction, HorrorSleazeTrash, and Just to Watch Them Die: Crime fiction inspired by the songs of Johnny Cash. Desperate Times Call is his first book. Society is a tough place. Daily, it seems, a huge thumb presses down on us. What happens when someone pushes back, flips off the gigantic, karmic oppressor? Or simply caves in and decides to wallow in the gutter? Desperate Times Call is a collection of stories about people on society’s fringes and margins. Characters pushed to their limits, left without much choice but to give in, push back, or simply explode. How do we answer when Desperate Times Call? (Sat., 11/17, 3:30pm, 8301)
Nadine Gonzalez Exclusively Yours & Unconditionally Mine Born in New York City, the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Eventually, she moved to Miami, Florida, and fell in love with the people, weather, and lifestyle. She started her first novel while in law school and her modern romances reflect this vibrant city and unique mix of cultures. (Sun., 11/18, 4:30pm, 1365)
David Lawrence, Jr., A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance for Every Child. What are you going to do for the rest of your life? For David Lawrence Jr., a brilliant newspaper editor and publisher with a distinguished, three-decade-long journalism career who retired in 1999 at the age of 56, the answer in his words was to dedicate his life to a “newly energized purposefulness: that every child have a real chance to succeed.” Dave’s successful career in journalism is a story of the roller coaster of the American newspaper from the halcyon days of post-World War II to the dramatic changes and decline of today. But the most lasting impression you’ll have will be of a highly principled man applying his talents and values in a transitioning America. Ultimately, he elects to transfer his lifelong fascination with journalism to civic advocacy for early childhood learning. (Sun., 11/18, 12noon, 2106)
Reading Queer: Poetry In A Time of Chaos edited by Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton, is a collection of the most subversive, gritty, moving, and courageous writing to come out of the U.S. queer community in recent political times. Maureen has authored seventeen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative. Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Lambda Literary Award for Furious Cooking, the Audre Lorde Award for Venus Examines Her Breast, an NEA, and two Pushcarts. (Sun., 11/18, 10:30am, 6100)
Antonia Williams-Gary, Reclaimed: A Memoir an account of her journey of recovery from decadeslong emotional abuse while living with her powerful husband, the City of Miami’s first African-American city manager, Howard Gary, who became embroiled in one of South Florida’s most salacious corruption scandals. (Sun., 11/18, 4:30pm, 8202)
Barbara Young, Robert Huff: Cross Section Robert worked at MDC Kendall Campus from 1968 to 2005. He primarily taught sculpture. For most of those years he was chair of the Art Department and also had an Endowed Chair. (Sun., 11/18, 1pm, 7128)
Other Notables at the Fair
Sylvia Acevedo, Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist. This inspiring memoir for young readers about a Latina rocket scientist whose early life was transformed by joining the Girl Scouts and who currently serves as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science. With new confidence, Sylvia navigated shifting cultural expectations at school and at home, forging her own trail and going on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she worked on the Voyager mission’s flyby of Jupiter and its moons and the Solar Polar/Probe missions. (Sat., Nov. 17, 4pm, MDC Live Arts)
Iván Acosta was born in Los Hoyos, a neighborhood in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. With a Cuban Song in the Heart (Un-Gyve Press) features the artwork from 280 album covers from Iván Acosta’s collection of over 5,000 long-playing discs—a collection which hangs in the living room of his New York City home and which includes the two albums that he and his sister smuggled out of Cuba on that August 28th, 1961; and by which he weaves a story of real life passages from his childhood in Santiago de Cuba and “tidbits of history that lay dormant in those album covers,” local lore and landmark events. (Sun., 11/18, 1pm, 1365)
Jabari Asim, We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and The Art of Survival . For eleven years, he was an editor at the Washington Post, where he also wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture and social issues, and he has been the editor in chief of Crisis magazine, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, culture and ideas, since 2007. We Can’t Breathe disrupts what Toni Morrison has exposed as the “Master Narrative” and replaces it with a story of black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn’t depend on a narrative steeped in oppression but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories. (Sun., 11/18, 3pm, 7106)
Andrea Barnet Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World chronicles the way four influential women we thought we knew well spearheaded the modern progressive movement. (Sat., Nov. 17, 4:30pm, 8202)
Ruth Behar Everything I Kept: Todo Lo Que Guarde explores the sacrifices of her exiled Cuban ancestors alongside her own vulnerabilities. (Sun., 11/18, 1:30pm, 6100)
Gabrielle Birkner & Rebecca Soffer, MODERN LOSS: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome. Brutally honest and inspiring, Modern Loss invites us to talk intimately and humorously about grief, helping us confront the humanity (and mortality) we all share. (Sun., 11/18, 1pm, 8303)
Joanna Cantor’s, Alternative Remedies for Loss is a slyly funny coming-of-age novel about a young woman fumbling her way into the mysteries of loss and the travails of adulthood as she tries to make sense of a vanished mother’s legacy. (Sun., 11/18, 12 noon, 9201)
Brian Clements, Bullets Into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence poems focusing on the crisis of gun violence in America, responses form activities, politicians, and survivors. (Sun., 11/18, 10:30am, 6100)
Tiana Clark, I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. For poet Tiana Clark, trees will never be just trees. They will also and always be a row of gallows from which Black bodies once swung. This is an image that she cannot escape, but one that she has learned to lean into as she delves into personal and public histories, explicating memories and muses around race, elegy, family, and faith by making and breaking forms as well as probing mythology, literary history, her own ancestry, and Rihanna. I Can’t Talk About the Trees without the Blood, because Tiana cannot engage with the physical and psychic landscape of the South without seeing the braided trauma of the broken past—she will always see blood on the leaves. (Sat., Nov. 17, 4:30pm, 6100)
From prizewinning journalist and immigration expert Alfredo Corchado, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration tells the sweeping story of the great Mexican migration from the late 1980s to today. (Sat., Nov. 17, 12noon, 3209)
David Edwards, world-renowned inventor and Harvard professor of the practice of idea translation, reveals that the secret to creating things of lasting benefit, including innovations we will need to sustain human life on the planet, lies in perceiving art and science as one. (Sat., Nov. 17, 3:30pm, 7128)
J. English, The Corporation, An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld is a tale of gangsters, drugs, violence, sex, and murder rooted in the streets of Havana. (Sun., 11/18, 11am, 3314)
Ramiro Fernández, Cuba Then: Revised and Expanded. Ramiro Fernández was born in Havana to a family involved in the pharmaceutical industry. He left Cuba in 1960, settling first in Palm Beach County and then in New York, where he was a photography editor at Time Inc. for 25 years. A witness to the Cuban Revolution in his youth, Fernández’s consuming passion has been to build a photography collection to represent the Cuba he remembers. With an autobiographical introduction from the author, who was born in Havana, and peppered with selections from Richard Blanco’s alluring poetry, these pages take readers inside circuses, concerts, filmsets, and street parades. From unlikely images of historical newsmakers (Fidel Castro drinking a Coca-Cola on a public bus) to a roster of jet-setting celebrities such as Celia Cruz, and Winston Churchill, Cuba Then is a welcome new edition of this seductive and lush photographic survey of the small island that continues to fascinate the world. (Sun., 11/18, 1pm, 1365)
James Otis Smith and Ted Fox Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater brings to life the theater’s legendary significance in music history, African American history, and to the culture of New York City. (Sat., Nov. 17, 4pm, at MAGIC)
Andrew Friedman Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession. (Sun., 11/18, 3pm, 8203)
Carol Fulp Success Through Diversity: Why the Most Inclusive Companies Will Win explores how investing in a racially and ethnically diverse workforce will help make contemporary businesses more dynamic, powerful, and profitable. (Sun., 11/18, 2pm, 2106)
Jose Manuel Garcia, Voices from Mariel: Oral Histories of the 1980 Cuban Boatlift Told in the words of the immigrants themselves, the stories in Voices from Mariel offer an up-close view of this international crisis, the largest overseas mass migration in Latin American history. Based on the award-winning documentary of the same name, Voices from Mariel features the experiences of marielitos from all walks of life. These are stories of disappointed dreams, love for family and country, and hope for a better future. This book illuminates a powerful moment in history that will continue to be felt in Cuba and the United States for generations to come. (Sun., 11/18, 11am, 8203)
Michael K. Honey To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice. A former Southern civil rights and civil liberties organizer, is Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington Tacoma, where he teaches labor, ethnic, and gender studies and American history. To the Promised Land goes beyond the iconic view of Martin Luther King Jr. as an advocate of racial harmony to explore his profound commitment to the poor and working class and his call for “nonviolent resistance” to all forms of oppression, including the economic injustice that “takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.” (Sun., 11/18, 3pm, 7106)
Natalie Hopkinson, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled: Six Dissidents, Five Continents, and the Art of Resistance is a meditation in the spirit of John Berger and bell hooks on art as protest, contemplation, and beauty in politically perilous times. (Sat., Nov. 17, 12 noon, 7128)
Gilbert King Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found is the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret. Author the New York Times bestseller, Devil in the Grove, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in 2013. The book was also the runner-up in nonfiction for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a finalist for both the Chautauqua Prize and the Edgar Award, and the gold medal winner in nonfiction for the Florida Book Awards. King has written about the race and criminal justice for the New York Times and the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Smithsonian. He’s also a featured contributor to The Marshall Project. His latest book, Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found tells the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret. In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a “husky Negro” did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial. Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still. (Sun., 11/18, 11am, 3314)
Daniela Lamas, You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and in Between A critical care doctor’s breathtaking stories about what it means to be saved by modern medicine…a world that glimmers with new technology and cutting-edge research. (Sun., 11/18, 1:30pm, 8203)
Neel Patel’s, If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi: Stories gives voice to our most deeply held stereotypes about first generation Indian Americans and then slowly undermines them. (Sat., Nov. 17, 12:30pm, 3314)
Laurie Nadel, The Five Gifts: Discovering Hope, Healing and Strength When Disaster Strikes As the frequency and intensity of catastrophic events continue to surge, organizations provide guidelines for how to pack a “Go-Kit” in case of emergency. The Five Gifts is like an emergency ‘Go-Kit’ for the mind, packed with information and insight that can minimize and prevent long-term psycho-spiritual damage from a traumatic event. It’s a field guide for the heart and soul to guide you through to cycles of damage and recovery that can be useful before, during, and after a tragic loss, trauma, or disaster. If you are open to receiving the gifts of Humility, Patience, Empathy, Forgiveness, and Growth, The Five Gifts will lead you safely through disaster and traumatic minefields. (Sat., Nov. 17, 2pm, 8203)
Idra Novey, Those Who Knew is a taut, timely novel about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down. (Sat., Nov. 17, 11am, 8201)
Virginia Sole-Smith, The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America is an exploration, both personal and deeply reported, of how we learn to eat in today’s toxic food culture. Food is supposed to sustain and nourish us. Eating well, any doctor will tell you, is the best way to take care of yourself. Feeding well, any human will tell you, is the most important job a mother has. But for too many of us, food now feels dangerous. We parse every bite we eat as good or bad, and judge our own worth accordingly. When her newborn daughter stopped eating after a medical crisis, Virginia Sole-Smith spent two years teaching her how to feel safe around food again — and in the process, realized just how many of us are struggling to do the same thing. The Eating Instinct visits kitchen tables around America to tell Sole-Smith’s own story, as well as the stories of women recovering from weight loss surgery, of people who eat only nine foods, of families with unlimited grocery budgets and those on food stamps. Every struggle is unique. But Sole-Smith shows how they’re also all products of our modern food culture. And they’re all asking the same questions: How did I learn to eat this way? Why is it so hard to feel good about food? And how can I make it better? (Sat., Nov. 17, 5pm, 8303)
Edward Tenner, The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do is a bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency–and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than we ever have before. Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of digital platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. The book questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of digital platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts. (Sat., Nov. 17, 3:30pm, 7128)
Laura Wides-Muñoz, The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What it Means to be American based on more than a decade of reporting on immigration, much of it done while a staff writer for The Associated Press. The Making of a Dream begins at the turn of the millennium, with the first of a series of “Dream Act” proposals; follows the efforts of policy makers, activists, and undocumented immigrants themselves, and concludes with the 2016 presidential election and the first months of the Trump presidency. In telling their story, Laura Wides-Muñoz forces us to rethink our definition of what it means to be American. (Sat., Nov. 17, 12 noon, 3209)
On Race: Readings from NonFiction, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, from Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Eli Saslow, is the powerful story of how a prominent white supremacist changed his heart and mind. Ron Stallworth’s Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller, and a searing portrait of a divided America. R.J. Young‘s Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey Into Guns explores the quest, funny and searing, of a young black man learning to shoot—a fascinating odyssey into race, guns, and self-protection in America. (Sunday, November 17, 4:30 p.m. 3314)
Alissa Quart, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America has appeared on the top ten and best forthcoming books lists’ of Publishers Weekly, The Week, Library Journal and Nylon. In Alissa’s latest non-fiction book, she discusses that the middle-class American Dream is imploding. Squeezed shows how the high cost of parenthood and our unstable job market got us here and offers surprising solutions for improving our condition. Alissa writes the Outclassed column for The Guardian and, is the Executive Editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a non-profit devoted to commissioning, editing and placing reportage about inequality, which she co-founded its current incarnation with Barbara Ehrenreich. (Sun., 11/18, 12:30pm, 7106)
Michael Zadoorian, Beautiful Music is a novel about one young man’s transformation through music. He is the author of the critically praised The Leisure Seeker–now a film starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, released by Sony Pictures Classics this year. (Sun., 11/18, 3pm, 3314)
Full schedule at miamibookfair.com
Space is limited; early ticket purchase is encouraged for ticketed events.
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