Miami Dade College’s Miami Book Fair to again Host National Book Award Finalists

Miami, Nov. 7, 2017 – For the fourth year in a row, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Book Fair (MBF), in partnership with the National Book Foundation, and with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, welcomes the Finalists and Winners of the National Book Foundation’s National Book Awards.

“Authors tell our stories in unique ways that change perceptions, highlight inequity and create empathy and understanding,” said Victoria Rogers, VP of Arts at Knight Foundation. “They create art that exists at the very core of humanity.  At Knight Foundation, we’re delighted to make the very best of today’s literature from around-the-world available to all of Miami through the Book Fair.”

The National Book Foundation’s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, expand its audience, and enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing.

Previous winners of the Award—including William Carlos Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Faulkner—comprise a who’s who of American literature. Following the awards ceremony in New York City on November 15, at which the winners will be announced, all Winners and Finalists in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature will travel to Miami for this remarkable gathering of literary talent.


Following are some of the events the visiting authors will participate at this year’s Miami Book Fair:


Friday, Nov.17, 6 p.m.
Finalists and Winners of the National Book Foundation’s National Book Awards

MDC’s Wolfson Campus, Chapman Center, 300 N.E. Second Ave., (Building 3, Second Floor)


All finalists and winners attending the MBF will gather for short readings and a Q&A with National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas


Saturday, Nov. 18, 12:30 p.m.

Award-Winning Readings: National Book Award Finalists and Winners in Fiction

MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 3314 (Building 3, Third Floor)


Elliot Ackerman’s Dark at the Crossing is a contemporary love story set on the Turkish border with Syria. In Daniel Alarcón’s story collection, The King Is Always Above the People, migration, betrayal, family secrets, doomed love, and uncertain futures are transformed into deeply human stories with high stakes. Lisa Ko‘s powerful debut, The Leavers, winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, follows one young man’s search for his mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who disappears when he’s 11 years old. In Min Jin Lee‘s bestselling novel, Pachinko, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew. In her collection of short stories, Her Body and Other PartiesCarmen Maria Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s A Kind of Freedom explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history. Carol Zoref‘s award-winning first novel, Barren Island, is set a forsaken sand bar, but infused with strange beauty and love.


Saturday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.

Award-Winning Readings: National Book Award Nominees and Finalists in Poetry

MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 6100 (Building 6, First Floor)


Frank Bidart’s latest collection, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016, encompasses all of Bidart’s previous books, and also includes a new collection, Thirst.  Mai Der Vang’s Afterland recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Chen Chen’s When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities investigates inherited forms of love and family—all from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives. Leslie Harrison’s The Book of Endings try to make sense of, or at least come to some kind of reckoning with, absence. In Magdalene, Marie Howe imagines the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene as spiritual, sensual, and searching for meaning in a contemporary landscape. In Shane McCrae’s In the Language of My Captor historical persona poems and a prose memoir address the illusory freedom of both black and white Americans. Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead confronts America— where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle. Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes.


Saturday, Nov. 18, 2:30 p.m.

Award-Winning Readings: National Book Award Nominees and Finalists in Nonfiction

MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 3314 (Building 3, Third Floor)


Erica Armstrong Dunbar‘s Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway SlaveOna Judge is the powerful and surprising narrative of George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave. In Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black AmericaJames Forman, Jr. explains why the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America delves the operation designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority. In Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake NewsKevin Young traces our country’s long history of “hoaxing”—from P.T. Barnum to Donald Trump.


Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:30 p.m.

Award-Winning Readings: National Book Award Nominees and Finalists in Young People’s Literature

MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 3314 (Building 3, Third Floor)


In Robin Benway’s Far From the Tree, being the middle child has its ups and downs, but for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. In Samantha Mabry’s All the Wind in the World, a couple on the run may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love. Charmaine Craig’s Miss Burma, based on the lives of the author’s mother and grandparents, tells the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of one family struggling to find love, justice, and meaning during a time of war and political repression. In Erika L. Sanchez’s I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a young girl struggles to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family following the death of her sister. In Ibi Zoboi’sAmerican Street, a young Haitian immigrant adjusting to Detroit must confront a dangerous proposition.


For more information, please visit, call 305-237-3528, or email


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Visit for complete schedule and more information.  #MiamiReads


National Book Foundation

The National Book Foundation’s mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years.  Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Phil Klay, James McBride, Joyce Carol Oates, Adrienne Rich, and Jesmyn Ward.


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 include culinary presentations; 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 contacts: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132, or Deyanira Navarrette, 305-495-7168,