MDC’s Miami Book Fair and the National Endowment for the Arts Present The Big Read Miami 2020

Miami, Feb. 19, 2020 Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Book Fair (MBF) will celebrate community togetherness, open literary discussion, and creative expression during the month of March with activities such as the film documentary, LOS VIEJOS (THE OLDIES), about Cuba’s elderly musicians, a pop-up exhibit by artist Linda Faneuf, and a keynote presentation by Roz Chast, author of this year’s The Big Read Miami 2020 selection, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?.

The Big Read is a beloved literary program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This year Miami Book Fair will celebrate The Big Read in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Library System, Books & Books, HistoryMiami Museum, the Miami Film Festival, and The Miami Workshop. The Big Read Miami 2020 is designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture. As in previous years, free events will take place at MDC campuses, among other locations. Complimentary copies of the book will be distributed at all events while supplies last.  

Miami Book Fair’s Big Read selection celebrates the lauded memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  Through a varied array of media, including cartoons and family photographs, the book captures Chast’s complicated relationship with her aging parents as it becomes the famed New Yorker cartoonist’s turn to be the caregiver of the family.

For more information about The Big Read or to request a free book, please visit or call 305-237-3258.

Schedule of Events

Monday, March 2

7:30 p.m. | Miami Dade College, Koubek Center, 2705 SW 3rd St, Miami, FL 33135

Keynote Address: Roz Chast, author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Roz Chast is an American cartoonist best known for her work as a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker. She will discuss her memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? which tells the story of Chast’s parents’ final years through cartoons, family photos, found documents, and narrative prose. Presented in partnership with MDC’s Koubek Center.


Friday, March 6

7 p.m. | Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Opening of Art Exhibit: Linda Faneuf presents “Gladys and Friends,” in conjunction with Coral Gables Gallery Night

Based in Miami Beach for more than 30 years, Linda Faneuf paints and collages portraits of Gladys and her friends—fictional characters whose wit and fashion sense are inspired by the elderly ladies of South Beach years gone by. A former resident artist at the South Florida Art Center (now Oolite Arts), Faneuf’s work has been part of exhibitions throughout the U.S. and is collected by institutions and individuals all over the world. Presented in partnership with Books & Books.


Saturday, March 14

1 p.m. | Miami Dade College, Koubek Center, 2705 SW 3rd St, Miami, FL 33135

Making Comics: A Workshop for Teens with Jarod Roselló

Jarod Roselló is a Cuban American writer, cartoonist, and teacher. He is the author of the middle-grade graphic novel Red Panda & Moon Bear, a Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library 2019 best book for young readers, and a 2019 Nerdy Award winner for graphic novels. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from Pennsylvania State University. Presented in partnership with MDC’s Koubek Center.
Wednesday, March 18

7 p.m. | Tower Theater Miami, 1508 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

Film Screening: THE OLDIES (LOS VIEJOS) | In Spanish with subtitles in English

A special screening of the award-winning documentary The Oldies, directed by Rosana Matecki and winner of the 2018 Miami Film Festival Knight Documentary Achievement Award. The Oldies follows Santa Clara, Cuba residents Zaida, Bringuez and Cándido as they struggle to stay passionately engaged in life and art at an age when simple tasks can be challenging. Presented in partnership with the Miami Film Festival and MDC’s Tower Theater.


Thursday, March 19

6 p.m. | Books & Books at The Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132

First Draft: A Creative Writing Social with Lorene Cary
Swing by this First Draft event for a drink (the first one’s on the house) and a guided writing prompt, as you share your writing with Lorene Cary, author of Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century. Join us for this special edition of our series of monthly literary socials. Presented in partnership with Books & Books.


In addition, Miami Book Fair is partnering with HistoryMiami Museum to gather life stories told by South Florida elders (age 55 and over) about their lives in our city for this year’s Big Read program.  To learn more and submit a Miami story, visit and/or Also email a story to  Stories will be accepted in English, Spanish, Creole, and other languages.


About Miami Book Fair

Founded in 1984 by Miami Dade College and partners, Miami Book Fair engages the community through inclusive, accessible programs that promote reading and support writers year-round. The annual eight-day festival has grown into the largest and most comprehensive community-rooted literary gathering in the United States. The Fair features readings and discussions with the world’s most renowned authors, generating discourse on contemporary literature and current issues of international importance. The Fair also includes; live music and interdisciplinary performances; interactive, educational activities for children; and more than 200 booksellers and publishers during the Street Fair. Events take place in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and French. In addition to the annual festival, the Miami Book Fair responds to community needs with a year-round schedule of activities, including The Little Haiti Book Festival, highlighting Haiti’s literary acumen; creative writing and publishing workshops; author presentations; reading campaigns; and Read to Learn Books for Free, a partnership with The Children’s Trust that distributes more than 150,000 free books a year to children in Miami-Dade County.


Miami Book Fair is made possible through the generous support of the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Miami; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Miami Downtown Development Authority; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners. Miami Book Fair: Building community, one reader at a time.


Miami Book Fair media contact: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132,


MDC Media-only contacts: Juan C.  Mendieta, MDC director of communications, 305-237-7611,; Hessy Fernandez, director of media relations, 305-237-3949,; Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,; Allison Horton, 305-237-3359,; or Norma Ardila, 305-237-3607,


This and other MDC releases are available on the web at