Page 1


Past<<<Present>>>and Forward The goal of the Miami Book Fair International has always been a shameless one. We wanted to see and hear the great authors of our time, in our own incredible city. We imagined the world’s largest and best dinner party – where all the guests have something interesting to say. It’s hard to believe now, with hundreds of thousands of people flooding our streets for Book Fair week every November, how few believed such a feat was possible in a resort town. But 25 years ago, the vision of a few and the hard work of many produced an immediately successful event, drawing about 25,000 people that first weekend. It was an idea whose time had come. From the beginning, we thought the Fair should reflect the diversity of the entire Miami community. We planned the dinner party under a very large tent, so there would be a place for everyone. Everything we do reflects this philosophy, from the selection of authors, to the international pavilions, to the types of publishers and booksellers showing at the street fair. We have always depended on a small army of volunteers, and sponsors to make sure it is a world-class event. Its growth has been based on collaboration and teamwork across a wide spectrum of our community. Ultimately, it was South Florida’s diverse community that proved the cynics wrong by enthusiastically embracing the Fair year after year. We like to think that the dinner party we started has served as an entry point for serious thinkers to take Miami seriously. And they carry the message of Miami with them wherever they go. There is a strong literary community here, one the Fair and Miami Dade College have worked to enrich. Through vision and literary persistence, we have helped change both the perception and reality of what Miami has become. In the years ahead, we pledge to be at the cutting edge of literary culture to keep the Miami Book Fair always relevant. So you and we, and our grandchildren will be able to celebrate our 50th anniversary in the year 2033.

Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón

Mitchell Kaplan

Alina Interián

President, Miami Dade College Honorary Chairperson, Miami Book Fair International

Chairperson, Miami Book Fair International

Executive Director, Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 

 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

5 2


Twenty Five Years: The Story of Our “Little” Book Fair by Rebecca Wakefield . ...................................................................... 6

We asked 25 Authors

............................................................................................................ 20

The Evolution of the Graphic Novel by John Shableski.............................................................................. 32

Big Bang Theory/ Hijos del Big Bang

by Vera (Hernán Vera Álvarez) . ................................................... 38

A Writer’s Journey

by Tananarive Due........................................................................... 44

Miami Noir

Miami Book Fair International Board of Directors Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, Honorary Chairperson Mitchell Kaplan, Chairperson Barbara Skigen, Co-Chair Janell Walden Agyeman, Treasurer Alina Interián, Secretary Susan Cumins, Malou Harrison, Silvia Matute, June Rubin Mervyn Solomon, Robert Spano, Harvey J. Wolf Florida Center for the Literary Arts Staff Alina Interián, Executive Director Delia López, Director of Operations Penny Thurer, Program Coordinator and MBFI Author Liaison Dr. Roselyne Pirson, Program Coordinator, Reading & Children’s Programs Lissette Mendez, Program Coordinator, Workshops and Comix Galaxy Elaine Parker, Membership and Corporate Relations Manager Giselle Hernández, Exhibitor Liaison Sara McCranie, Computer Graphics Specialist Johanna Cuevas, Office Manager Christina Ferreras, Assistant Jessica Jonap, Special Programs Assistant Miami Dade College District Board of Trustees Helen Aguirre Ferré, Chair Peter W. Roulhac, Vice Chair Armando J. Bucelo Jr., Marielena A. Villamil, Mikki Canton, Benjamín León III, Robert H. Fernández Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College

by Edna Buchanan........................................................................... 48

Rolando Montoya, Campus President, Wolfson Campus

The Author is a Star

25th Anniversary Commemorative Magazine

by Sue Corbett.................................................................................. 54

Found in Translation

by Daína Chaviano (Translated by Juan Carlos Pérez-Duthie).................................... 60

Living the Hyphen

by Joanne Hyppolite......................................................................... 66

Laughing on the Great Earth

by Michael Hettich........................................................................... 66

Cultural Fringes

............................................................................................................ 76

During the Week: Evenings with...

............................................................................................................ 82

Concept, Production and Design ROCK Group Visual Branding + Advertising + Interactive Roch Nakajima, Bobby Harris, Felipe Osorio, Pilar Zeta, Robert Jeffcoat, Maria Pereyra, Ignacio Segura and Juan Carlos Ariano Editor Rebecca Wakefield Contributing writers Edna Buchanan, Daína Chaviano, Sue Corbett, Tananarive Due, Michael Hettich, Joanne Hyppolite, Aileen Ochoa, John Shableski, Hernan Vera, Rebecca Wakefield The entire contents of Miami Book Fair International: A Celebration of the Literary Arts are Copyright 2008 by ROCK Group LLC and Miami Dade College. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the express written permission of the publisher.

Weekend Events Grid Schedule

............................................................................................................ 92

The Fair Goes Green ............................................................................................................ 96

Love After Love

by Derek Walcott.............................................................................. 98

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 


 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

by Rebecca Wakefield


A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 


Charles Willeford

Ken Kesey

Connie Francis

Nestor Torres

Chapter One: A Fair is Born In the early Eighties, nobody in their right mind thought a book fair, at least not a reputable one, had a chance of surviving in Miami. Miami was considered by the rest of the world a moldering graveyard of culture -- God’s Waiting Room for retirees, and “Paradise Lost” for everybody else. The Mariel boatlift and other massive waves of immigration, plus a cocaine cowboy crime wave and the exodus of old Miamuh society had left this town with the literary reputation of cotton candy. And as grandly decayed as the yet to be restored Art Deco district. But here and there, there were signs of cultural life. In 1982, a small bookstore in Coral Gables called Books and Books joined a handful of other local independent bookstores, such as Bookworks in South Miami and the venerable Downtown Book Center in the heart of the city. Each store sponsored its own festival, eclectic affairs somewhere between a book club and a flea market. Outside these modest oases of culture, though, “Miami had this reputation that it was only non-prescription drug books and old people and romance novels,” Books and Books

John Steptoe

Jorge Valls


 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Allen Ginsberg

Gwendolyn Brooks

Dr. Joaquin Roy, James Baldwin and Heberto Padilla

Dick Gregory

Reinaldo Arenas

Street Fair

owner Mitchell Kaplan recalls. “But I was selling Raymond Carver, poetry, Jonathan Kozol, Philip Roth. I knew there was more going on.” Meanwhile, Dade County was nearing the end of its Decade of Progress, a time in which it built the Metrorail and Metromover, an art museum and libraries, among other ambitious public projects. While downtown Miami then resembled the set of a post-apocalyptic thriller starring Kurt Russell, there were a few visionaries who saw it as much more. A couple of librarians, notably Margarita Cano, thought that if they put together a really good book fair in Bayfront Park, it would help promote the nearby library branch. Cano, who built the library’s impressive art collection basically from scratch in the ‘70s and ‘80s, called all the booksellers and other librarians together for a meeting. “We were all gung ho,” says Raquel Roque, proprietress of the Downtown Book Center, which her family has run since 1965. But with the odds stacked significantly against them, a handful of librarians and shopkeepers stood little chance of getting anything much off the ground. Too many scoffers were skeptical that Miami in 1983 could support a large literary festival, or attract enough quality authors from out of town.

Chaim Potok

Mario Vargas Ilosa


Maya Angelou

Laurent De Brunhoff

Joseph Heller

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 


Garrison Keillor

Leo Buscaglia

Armando Alvarez Bravo, Amelia del Castillo and Ana Rosa Nunez


But Juanita Johnson, then a librarian at Miami Dade Community College’s fledgling Wolfson campus, had an idea. She knew that the campus’ new president, Eduardo J. Padrón, was a big-picture thinker with transformative plans for the downtown campus. Padrón was looking for a way to promote the Wolfson campus and to build something of a community around it. He’d also recently been to an impressive book fair in Spain and saw the appeal. “I had a good idea of downtown Miami’s potential, and I felt that a book fair would be a big draw,” he explains. “Outsiders were portraying Miami as “Paradise Lost,” but I did not buy into that headline. I felt that a book fair would be a great way to invigorate downtown. With a small group of supporters, we simply had to believe in our idea. We just had to take that leap of faith.” Acting fast, he offered the group a venue, money and staff support that proved critical as they planned the very first Miami Book Fair International. The group, including the Fair’s first chairperson, Craig Pollock of Bookworks, fanned out across the literary world, wheedling publishers and authors, selling the story of why they should come here to this strange place called Miami.

Carlos Fuentes

Carolyn Forche

Jimmy Buffett

10 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


John Updike

Shawn Wong


Norman Mailer

Hunter S. Thompson


Anne Waldman

Alice Walker

The 1984 Fair, which at first went by the idyllic moniker of “Books by the Bay,” opened with an unlikely headliner -- a breakfast with Miss Manners, part of the Fair’s attempt to appeal to as broad a base of readers as possible. Some of the serious writers somehow convinced to head to the subtropics included Jorge Luis Borges, James Baldwin, Ken Kesey, Marge Piercy, Amiri Baraka and Heberto Padilla. Fair organizers, nearly all volunteers, knew that for the festival to be viable, it had to be accessible, even a bit commercial. Thus the roughly 100 authors and 125 publishers who came in 1984 spanned a range of genres and high to low culture. And even though Borges pulled out of his appearance at the last minute, some 2000 people attended three days of readings and workshops, while ten times that number flowed through the street fair, astounding cynics and supporters alike. “By the third session of the day, I realized this was going to work,” Roque reveals. “We brought in Reinaldo Arenas in a dialogue with a couple of other important Spanish authors. The audience was entranced. There was electricity in the air.”

Kids and Authors

Sidney Sheldon

Ray Bradbury

Sonia Sanchez

Street Fair

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 11


Roger Rabbit

Wallace Shawn


Chris Burke

Carl Hiaasen

The whole area of downtown in and around the college campus was transformed into something like a Fellini film for culture-starved Miamians – in ways both unreal and hyper real. Some walked around in a daze, exclaiming to each other, “Wasn’t that…did you just see…?”

Chapter Two: The Evolution “I saw Marjory Stoneman Douglas toddling by at one of the first Fairs,” remembers Susan Cumins, a longtime volunteer and member of the MBFI board. “Claude Pepper, Allen Ginsberg, a lot of the old timers before they died.” In 1985, Allen Ginsberg, Garrison Keillor, Jerzy Kosinski and Mario Vargas Llosa were among the luminaries to regale the growing crowds flooding downtown Miami during one magical week in November. Not that the literary world had fully embraced the idea that South Florida could be more than a great place to have a lost weekend. “The first five years people were like, ‘Get real. Nobody in Miami is into this,’” Cumins says.

Michael Caine


Les Standiford, James Crumley, and Kinky Friedman

Pearl Cleage

12 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Julia Child

Scott Turow

Anne Rice

Carl Sagan

Brian Weiss

David McCullough

Often it took a publisher or author to experience the reality of the large and enthusiastic audiences before they got it: Miami reads. Author Les Standiford counts himself as one of the skeptics, when he first heard the vision of a big, bold Fair in Miami. Twenty-five years later, he’s a convert. He offers two memories that struck him – realizing that even great authors have problems while listening to John Updike detail all the places his new book was NOT to be found as he toured a bookstore in the Miami airport, and Barack Obama’s appearance at the Fair two years back, “because it reminded me that books and intelligent thought and political debate are an inextricable, indistinguishable part of the fabric of a worthy culture.” Padrón could not be more pleased. “What impresses me is that the fair is able to offer something for everyone, and that means that everyone attending can find something memorable,” he says. “There are simply too many great authors and great moments from fairs past to select a single favorite memory. It’s the overall effect of transformation that stands out for me – for a week, our downtown campus becomes a portal or a magic train that takes people to other worlds. It really is magical.” As the Fair evolved in the late Eighties, culture began to gain a foothold more generally, with new organizations such as the Miami International Film Festival and a renewed


The Atrium

Guillermo Cabrera Infante

Camilo José Cela

Susan Sontag


Faye Dunaway

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 13

Norman Van Aken

Kevin Young

Jonathan Kozol


Al Franken

interest in Art Deco preservation. The University of Miami and Florida International University started MFA programs that attracted respected authors as instructors. There was also a large community of young journalists based here because Miami was the jumping off point for so many international incidents in Latin America and the Caribbean. As well, a number of marquee writers moved to or passed through Miami, making it the subject of various well-received books, including two 1987 classics by, respectively, Joan Didion and T.D. Allman. “It just became that people in the know began to know what Miami was,” Kaplan explains. “It was this whole stew that was happening. It was very exciting. It felt like you were in this place and helping to build consciousness. As we all know, writers are the underpinnings of everything. They tell the stories. They are the shapers. So whether it was a writer of Miami Vice, or a writer of Scarface, or a magazine writer or Didion and Allman, it was an incredible period.” In 1986, a favorite feature of the fair, Epicure Row, got started. This was an over-thetop section of the fair featuring various top chef-authors cooking up some of their recipes for the crowd. The same year, the Fair added a Young Authors Conference

Cornel West

Erica Jong

JJ Benitez

14 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Wendy Wasserstein

Alberto Ruy Sanchez

Carlos Victoria

Walter Mosley

Kenzaburo Oe


Mark Doty

Children at play

for local students to interact with authors, now expanded and known as the Student Literary Encounters This was an addition to the popular Children’s Alley, still a favorite section of the Fair. Another draw was the Antiquarian Annex, a rich hunting ground for rare and out-of-print books. In 1988, an estimated 350,000 people visited the Fair, as well as 120 authors and 200 exhibitors from 25 countries. The Miami Herald’s book editor, William Robertson, offered kudos to the five-year-old Fair for its ability to dream big in the scope and the quality of its offerings, even if “it will never be as big as New York Is Book Country in terms of the number of people attending.” Twenty years later, all we can say to that is “Ha!” (New York is Book Country ceased to exist a few years back and indeed, Miami’s fair soon became much larger than that event had ever been.) Also that year, gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson lived up to his reputation. “He missed his plane, showed up two days later, completely out of it,” Kaplan recounts. “He asked somebody to run out and get him a bottle of Wild Turkey, which they did and then he disrobed on stage and doused himself with it. I see him at the end with these guys who got him the Wild Turkey. They were driving around in fish-tale Cadillac convertibles. I saw him in the back seat with his legs pointed straight up.”


Aharon Appelfeld

David Maraniss

Stephen King


Pete Hamill

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 15


Rock Bottom Remainders

Mario Batali

Campbell McGrath

June Jordan

Ted Koppel

In 1989, the Fair gained the services of Alina Interián, who became – and remains – its executive director. Interián later ushered in Miami Dade College’s creation of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, which not only manages the Fair, but also programs an impressive lineup of visiting authors to local college and public school classrooms, creative writing workshops and many other year-round initiatives. “I had been a fan of the Fair from the first year and jumped at the opportunity to join the team,” Interián says. “I saw potential in developing the international aspect and worked to increase outreach into the multi-national community that South Florida has become. I took special pride in expanding our Spanish author program, and our activities with school children. This still drives me. But what keeps me coming back for more is the colorful characters through the years and the endless stories of our guest authors. Maybe not quite as colorful as the Wild Turkey-drenched Hunter Thompson, but still…” A few of these memories: Anne Rice addressing a group of vampires in a Baptist church in downtown Miami, Garrison Keillor leading an audience of hundreds in a refrain of Amazing Grace, a near riot erupting among fans of “the Love Doctor,” Leo Buscaglia.


Sandra Cisneros

Pat Conroy

Joan Didion

16 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Miss Manners

Michael Ondaatje

Serafina Nuñez

Mario Vargas Llosa



Anita Diamant

Poster Unveiling

These moments are also what entices the legion of volunteers to return every year to help a small cadre of professionals manage the Herculean task of squeezing hundreds of authors and exhibitors, thousands of fairgoers into one eight-day week in November. It is the possibility of witnessing magic. Such as Alice Walker holding a huge audience spellbound with her reading in 1989. And evening events with Saul Bellow and John Updike in 1990. For MBFI co-chair Barbara Skigen, 1990 offered a minor jaunt into the world of kidnapping authors, which she describes as “the night I fell in love with Ray Bradbury.” “It was my job to pick him up at the Omni and drive him to the college,” she says. “He wore a wrinkled linen suit, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is right out of a Southern novel.’ We started talking about his writing process. The fifteen minute ride took me 45 minutes. I just kept driving him around downtown in circles. I didn’t want to let him out of the car.” In 1991 Isabel Allende read for an evening, while in 1992, Anne Rice and Carl Sagan were among the headliners. Robert James Waller came in 1993, also the Fair’s tenth

David Rockefeller


Madeleine Albright

Elie Wiesel

Mitch Albom

Will Eisner

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 17

Al Roker



Tom Wolfe

Nigella Lawson

Donna Brazile

anniversary, with 225 authors attending. By this time, the Fair was the largest of its kind in the country. In 1994, a tropical storm forced the street fair off the soaked streets of downtown, but inside, the authors’ readings were still jam packed. In 1995, Raquel Roque got lost at the airport while picking up famed Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. When she subsequently got a massive speeding ticket driving him to the Fair, he queried, “Are you sure you’re from the Fair?” In 1996, Al Franken and Bill Moyers regaled audiences. By 1997, when Stephen Jay Gould headlined, the Fair was being described this way:  “Miami’s 14-year-old book fair has metamorphosed from a two-day event of 25 authors and 30 exhibitors into a $1-million-plus, weeklong literary jewel, with 270 authors, 300 exhibitors, more than 900 volunteers and a projected attendance of 500,000.” Also at this time, the Fair’s program of Spanish-language authors was growing from a small stage to its present position as a coveted venue for a who’s who in the Spanishlanguage literary scene. Caribbean authors were also featured prominently, attracting a number of celebrated writers to interact in unprecedented settings. Roque notes: “As the Fair has grown, it has kept that homespun yet international feel. It’s a beautiful event and also a commercial event. The beauty is the interaction between

Mike Wallace

Amy Tan


Barack Obama

18 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Sharon Draper

Maria Kodama

Jaime Bayly


Peter Bogdonovich

Candace Bushnell

Gloria Estefan

Terry McMillan

the reader and the writer. The book fair has become a community. It’s amazing that it has grown to be what it is.” It is pointless to continue naming authors who have graced the Fair with their wit and intellect over the years. The list exceeds 4700 names and everyone you ask has their own list of favorites. Ask Interián and she runs out of breath before she runs out of names. “I can think of very few writers I haven’t interacted with,” Mitch Kaplan says. “But for the Fair many of them wouldn’t have come here. Miami is one of the most underestimated cities. Writers are often very much surprised at the kinds of audiences. The beauty of the fair is it changes every year because the books change. I feel like I’ve had just the most remarkable seat at a literary parade in the last 25 years.” “I always knew Miami was hungry for culture and its image wasn’t reflective of the true soul of this town,” says Dr. Padrón. “The entire community has embraced the event, particularly our Miami Dade College community, which volunteers in droves and considers it a pride and joy. I have no doubt, 25 years from now, our grandchildren will still be attending Miami Book Fair International.” >MBFI

Arianna Huffington


Rosie O’Donnell

Ralph Nader

Chris Matthews

Robert Pinksy

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 19

We Asked

20 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008




s e


D a v R

i c








n d r

i c


n k


B a


r y


B r




h e






B a


n d r







s e

s n e

C o d r











n n i n g

J o h n




J o r N


i k














s n e

w a


i o v a



n n i

25 Authors J








h i p










J o h n K












a t


h i e






p b e


l l M c about the


J o y c

n k







o n

s k

n n i



i d d

D e P e C




n e s



C o


o l


s e


a t


r t

O a t


P A S T, P R E S E N T & F U T U R E . R



i d l




P e


r s

s R u i z Z they answered

l o

s m










d a

t a

c o t Z o e





n d i f T

V a

u l



o n

a t


贸 n



o r




o w

d 茅


A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 21

Rick Bragg Russell Banks Q: What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. It has to be the attack of 9/11/2001, which has turned out to be one of those rare hinges that put a Before and After into the historical time-line. What are you reading now? The new Oxford edition of Herodotus. Among half a dozen other, more nearly contemporary books, both fiction and non-fiction. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? The written word, as such, has as viable a future as its past has been for the last thousand or more years. The delivery system will change, as it always has, from wet clay and stylus to papyrus to vellum scrolls to handset printed type to paperbacks and on to digital delivery systems. Human beings, our greatgrandchildren, will adjust to the change in delivery system with no more difficulty than my generation adjusted to reading Homer in a pocket-sized paperback. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Surely I won’t be limited to three! I have gathered thousands of books in my personal library, and I hope my great-grandchildren will inherit (and read) from that cache my limited edition of Melville’s Moby Dick illustrated and signed by Rockwell Kent, my first American edition of Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, and my first edition of Ulysses Grant’s two-volume Memoirs published by Mark Twain. These are great American texts, obviously, and will be still be around in 2033 in various formats, but they are also unique, antique objects with associations that will help my great-grandchildren feel physically as well as intellectually connected to their country’s past.

Dave Barry What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. The development of the Internet. Thanks to the Internet, I am able, sitting in my home, to waste time at a rate that, decades ago, it would have taken 10 people to achieve. What are you reading now? I just finished Hold Tight by Harlan Coben. Next, I plan to read the complete works of Marcel Proust. Or, have a beer. I have not made my mind up yet. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I don’t know about you, but the way my vision is going, in 2033 I see me reading only things written in really HUGE fonts. Each individual letter would be the size of Shaquille O’Neal. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? I would pass along the complete works of Marcel Proust, since they would still be in mint condition.

22 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. This is hard. If you’re talking about significant events in general, then the years of the Bush administration have certainly left the deepest grooves in our lives, and the events of the past eight years have trembled the futures of our children. I am not just talking about political leadership, but the happenings of the past eight years: the terrorist attacks of 9/11; the controversial and mostly failed attempts at retribution in a war on terror with debatable purpose and success fought by brave young people who pay awful prices in an often unclear mission; a continuing partisanship in government and the ugly reality of a now frayed notion of unity; a decimated economy in which the gap between haves and have-nots just stretches and some Americans have no future at all. All of this bleeds into an election that seems to offer change, but with candidates who seem at times paper-thin. It’s enough to make a fellow want to go hide in a good book... But if you’re talking literary significance, I nod to Harry Potter, who led so many young people into a lifetime of reading.  What are you reading now? I read a manuscript for a book by Sonny Brewer called The Widow and the Tree. I also read Carl Hiaasen’s Nature Girl and James Lee Burke’s Tin Roof Blowdown. As the holidays come closer, I’ll read Dickens. A Christmas Carol is one of the favorite things and I read it every year. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? It seems clear now that people will be reading their newspapers solely on a screen, or whatever technological wizardry takes the screen’s place. But books in their traditional form will endure, I believe. I hope I’m dead before I have to read a good mystery by tapping keys, or on a touch-screen. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? This is hard, too. To disappear inside, I would say Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. For its message, To Kill a Mockingbird. It would be hard not to include Moby Dick.

Andrei Codrescu Alan Cheuse What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. It’s the event of the Fair itself, year after year bringing readers and writers together in a time when the conventional wisdom has this circle shrinking more and more. What are you reading now? Classics and contemporaries...stories by young Irish writer Claire Keegan and the marvelous experimental American writer Chris Adrian, the new Philip Roth (our reigning elder genius of fiction) -- a new novel by Amitav Ghosh -- and novels by Willa Cather and John Steinbeck. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? Same way in English, left to right -- and diving down into fine narratives that meld interesting characters to family and society and history. Fiction is our way of making our dream lives palpable and easier to grasp. It makes the usually elusive but most important elements of consciousness alive and part of the waking world. As to the vehicle--an old fashioned book whose pages we turn, or some machine or screen on which images pass continually before our eyes--let the business people and technicians figure that out. The writer’s job is to produce the magic, whatever stage it plays on. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? War and Peace, Moby Dick, To the Lighthouse -- and five thousand others....

Sandra Cisneros What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. For me, it’s been 9/11 and the aftermath of hate, the public expression of Mexiphobia under the guise of Homeland Security. We are witnessing a rise in extreme xenophobia and hysteria not seen since the propaganda fomented by the Nazis. It’s the vilification of the displaced, the poorest of the poor forced into a hero’s journey of mythic proportions.   What are you reading now? I’m rereading: Tempest Over Mexico, Rosa King; They Take Our Jobs and 20 Other Myths About Immigration, Aviva Chomsky; Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese; and discovering for the first time The Eagle and The Serpent, Martin Luis Guzman. I just finished the very satisfying new translation of The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela, that classic about the Mexican revolution that speaks so clearly to our own times.   What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I don’t know the future of the written word, I don’t even know my own future, but I do know the spoken word and spoken stories have survived genocide and collisions of cultures, so I have great faith in spoken literature. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? I don’t have grandkids, but I have lots of students and nieces and nephews. Favorites of my own are:  Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales; Merce Rodoreda’s The Time of the Doves; and Elena Poniatowska’s works.  

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. For myself, there were several, for the world there were myriads. I “covered” for NPR and ABC News the fall of the Ceausescu regime in Romania in December 1989, and that was one instance when the personal and the collective coincided for me. The communist country I was born in was no longer communist, which meant, above all, that I could return. I say “covered” between quotes because I went back after twenty-seven years in order to recover something of my childhood and adolescence, rather than write “news” stories. I suppose that the event known as Katrina, which was a storm and the breaking of the levees in New Orleans, had a similar personal-collective effect. The change in Romania occasioned the book, The Hole in the Flag: an Exile’s Story of Return & Revolution, (1991) and Katrina gave me New Orleans, Mon Amour. (2006). As a writer I’d have to say that my laptop and the Internet have been crucial, but that I realized the extent of the change only incrementally, after dozens of computers, so there was no dramatic moment, no “event.” What are you reading now? I read all the Roberto Bolaño books in English translation. He was a Chilean-born writer who lived in Mexico and was keenly aware of the New York poetry school, before he died at a relatively young age. Bolaño is, like Milan Kundera, a keenly intelligent writer who understands the tenuousness of distinctions between genres (“poetry,” “fiction,” “essay,” etc) and goes on writing as if it were the second most joyous activity in the world. I am also reading a lot of books and manuscripts for “Exquisite Corpse” (, and I can testify that there are a lot of terrific writers out there who are ignored by “big” houses. The terrible and wonderful truth is that big publishing has become irrelevant to readers, who can very well find anything they want continued on next page >

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 23

hib bs ©R ich ard P

Andrei Codrescu


now via the Internet. It’s a mystery to me how anyone (publishers, writers) will make money in the future. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? The written word is in great shape and soon almost everyone will be skillfully making interesting sentences on the Internet. The true rare commodity will be the readers, who will most surely demand to get paid to read. The future is the age of the Reader-for-Pay. The best read writers will be the ones capable of paying the largest number of readers to tend their words. Businesses will also hire writers to embellish on a product (see, The Devil Wears Prada) which will be the only way word-producers will earn more than wordconsumers. The only true currency in 2033 will be Imagination: the ID (Imagination Dollar) will trade in both virtual and real worlds alongside every other currency. Trees can relax. We’ll be reading words on screens that will show up whenever we call them. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Don’t Hate Your Grandparents, they Inherited a Screwed-Up World, Too. What Your Grandparents Really Did: A Guide to Useless Sentiment.

I’ve also seen the almost complete indifference of two Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush, during the early years of the epidemic, when it was primarily afflicting gay men. Any gay man who started out 25 years ago imagining that he was considered the equal of all other American citizens can’t possibly have ended the last two and a half decades with the same illusion. Nothing has been remotely the same for me since then.

What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? I trust my great-grandchildren to choose their own books.

random house


24 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? What’s fabulous and terrible about the future is, we really and truly have no idea. I’m old enough to have expected, as a child, a future that would involve shopping malls on the ocean floor, climate-controlled cities, and routine interplanetary travel. The word will survive, I’m sure about that, as will storytelling. I believe that just as certainly as I do in the survival of eating, sleeping, love, and sex. Whether it will be written, or manifested in some other way… we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?


What are you reading now? You will of course want to smack me, but the truth is, Proust. Swann’s Way. This summer in Provincetown I was part of a small group of truly remarkable people who read Joyce’s Ulysses together, and it was so

illuminating and enlivening and just generally great that we’ve agreed to tackle Proust, the whole thing, over the winter. I’m not so grand or rarified as the above may imply. If you’d asked me the question a month ago, I’d have said, Lush Life by Richard Price. Which was fantastic – I adore Richard Price. For the rest of the winter, though, it’s me and Marcel P.


These books haven’t yet been written, but then those grandchildren have not, for the most part, been born.

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. I suppose it’s indicative of our era that a question about the “most important event of the last twenty-five years” not only conjures dozens of possibilities, but the further question, most important to whom? For me, it was the AIDS epidemic. Surviving the epidemic, so far at least, has been more than a little like surviving a war. Like someone who’s been through a war, I’ve seen acts of heroism, cowardice, self-sacrifice, betrayal, and truly remarkable courage, the likes of which are not so abundantly on display during peacetime. The experience has expanded my sense of what it is to be human, and of what humans are capable of when pushed to extremes.


Try to Be Against the Future: the Past Was Bad Enough; a Manual.

Michael Cunningham

John Dufresne What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. Well, for me it was hearing Alistair Macleod read from his novel No Great Mischief. He read the breathtaking passage where the family heading back to the lighthouse disappears under the ice!  I thought this is what I’ve been trying to do — write this gracefully about grief, death, heartbreak.  And what a voice he has.  What are you reading now? Julie Hecht’s Happy Trails to You and J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? Well, I’ll be holding a book in my hands or the aide at the assisted living facility will be reading from it to me.  Kindles will be passé, I’m sure.  There’ll be some other incredible technology that just implants the book into our neocortex, and we access it with a coded series of blinks, close our eyes, and read the text.  We will be reading — we can’t live without stories. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? The Odyssey; The Riverside Shakespeare, the Complete Works; Stories of Anton Chekhov.

Nikki Giovanni Jorge Edwards Qué evento siente que ha sido el más importante en los últimos 25 años y por qué? Internprete la pregunta como le parezca. El o los eventos más importantes? Las caídas de dictaduras en todos lados. El retroceso de la peste autoritaria en el mundo actual. Qué está leyendo en este momento? Qué leerá después? Releo El astillero, de Juan Carlos Onetti, para un curso que dicto en The University of Chicago. Leo el último libro de Julian Barnes, Nothing to be afraid of. Para después tengo en mi mesa The queen of spades and other stories, de Alexander Pushkin. Cuál es le futuro de la palabra escrita? Cómo ve a la literatura en el 2033? Espero que siga viva en 2033. Si por esa fecha ha muerto, tampoco estaré vivo para verlo. Cuáles tres libros les pasaría a sus tataranietos? Tres libros posibles: el Quijote, los ensayos de Montaigne, La guerra y la paz. Pero son demasiados los que se quedan afuera. Por eso no me gustan estos juegos.

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. In the past 25 years of my knowing and loving the Miami Book Fair, I still think that first invitation is outstanding. I was up all night waiting for the article on me in the Miami Herald.  I was thrilled to now be a “real” writer invited to the best book fair going.  And over the years it is still thrilling to come to Miami and read my poems and see old friends like Mitch or meet new ones as I did last year, like Caroline Kennedy. What are you reading now? Children’s literature:  Bring Some Apples and I’ll Make you a Pie, the young people’s biography of my dear friend Edna Lewis; A Visitor for Bear which I just love because I frequently feel like Mouse; and Bad Rats which I view as a companion piece to my very own The Grasshopper’s Song because they both ask questions about the worth of art and how we must both respect, enjoy and feel safe in the world in which we are living. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I see human beings always doing four things:  Eating, Drinking, Reading and Making Love - though not necessarily in that order.  Reading is as necessary as any other survival tool.   What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Sula by Toni Morrison, The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat, Quilting the Black Eyed Pea by me.   All three books question how the past imposes on the future and since I am in love with what is coming, all three instruct me to take care of the past so that the story can be properly told.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 25

James Hall What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. Obama. What are you reading now? James Lee Burke What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? We’ll be reading like this question is posed. Quick. Down and dirty. Texting with thumbs.  Some will still be on the flatter brain wave pathways, I hope.  The long, measured sentences that unroll with a cadence and elegance and old school pace that mimics the slow and beautiful rotation of the earth and the wheeling of the galaxies and all the primeval genetic code of the seasonal measuring of time that our forefathers knew as their daily routine.  I hope it’s that.  Or else. It’ll be be such frantic clipping of syllables that who cares? What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Sun Also Rises. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The Maltese Falcon.

Charles Johnson What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. Isolating a single event, fixing it in time, is difficult to do, for most revolutionary (or evolutionary) phenomenon happen over time. Nevertheless,  I would argue that the invention of the Internet (in the 1960s), then the World Wide Web (1989), the start of commercial usage (1992), and the Information Superhighway have transformed our everyday lives more than any other scientific or technological advance in my life time. As a writer and scholar, my work has been made immeasurably easier, and my productivity has been enhanced, by the information literally at my fingertips, and by the power to communicate  and share documents with friends and colleagues all over the world. What are you reading now? Right now I’m catching up before fall quarter begins at the University of Washington on nine months of science publications for laypersons that I subscribe to but had little time to read during the 2007-08 academic year: Science News, Discover, New Scientist, and Scientific American; as well as nine months of Buddhist magazines that I write for frequently: Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (I’m a contributing editor), Shambhala Sun, and Buddhadharma. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I seriously doubt that after creating written (as opposed to oral) languages human beings

26 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

will abandon the “written word.” And I don’t believe we will ever abandon that time-honored form of communication and entertainment called books. But by 2033, I suspect we’ll see more improved versions of the Sony eReader, and perhaps electronic newspapers. Next year the Plastic Logic reader, which is the size of a piece of copier paper, will go on sale. Its makers say it will be capable of storing hundreds of pages of newspapers, books, and documents, and in the not too distant future will provide color displays with moving images. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? I would prefer to pass along about 3000 titles, instead of only three.  (And isn’t this the same question raised at the end of George Pal’s 1960 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine? Or a variation on, “What three books would you take to read if you were stranded on an island?” It’s really an impossible question. But if I had to limit my choice to just three and  all other books, say, in the world vanished, I would select Plato’s  Apology (Socrates’ Defense), The Diamond Sutra, and The Oxford English Dictionary.

Mark Kurlansky

Chip Kidd What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. Sadly, ‘important’ does not necessarily mean ‘positive’, so I would have to say the events of September 11, 2001. I don’t think I need to say why. What are you reading now? Manuscripts, as always. Just finished John Updike’s latest story collection — brilliant, as always. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? The written word has done just fine for many centuries, through many different technological evolutions, and will continue to do so. As long as we have eyes and brains, What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? I would pass on a good many more than three, but I guess I’d start with Charlotte’s Web when you’re a kid, To Kill a Mockingbird when you’re a teenager, and Lolita when you’re an “adult.”

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. The most important event may turn out to be the fraudulent Florida election of 2000 which with the aid of a corrupt Supreme Court allowed George W. Bush to come to power without winning election. He has caused brutal and unnecessary wars, destroyed the economy, undermined American democracy through the use of wire taps, torture and many smaller but insidious attacks on our values, as well as destroying the prestige of the United States in the world, and, with any luck, sending a devastated Republican party back to the drawing board. In short, that one slight of hand in Florida has given the United States its most disastrous eight years in history and the Americans who did not vote for him, not to mention Iraqis and other peoples throughout the world who did not, will continue paying for years to come. What are you reading now? I have been reading a collection of short stories by Kevin Barry, a new Irish writer who I ran across on a recent trip there. As in person, Barry’s writing has a wonderful voice. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? If opera has survived into the 21st century, there is no reason to think the written word can’t do as well. I think pragmatic reading, reading for information, will become almost entirely electronic. But literature, good books, poetry, short stories, even little literary publications that earn nothing will survive for a loyal and active readership. But likely opera enthusiasts will be expected to pay high prices for their passion. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? To be honest, the books I would like to pass on to my great, great grandchildren, would be mine. Let them find Dostoyevsky and Hemingway and the wondrous complete works of Joyce Carol Oates in 3000 volumes on their own. Doesn’t Ms Oates feel the same way? I think for most of us who write, one of the fantasies is that our work will be passed on.

Dennis Lehane What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. I was invited to the Miami Book Fair in 1994 for my first novel. I still can’t get over how kind and generous an act that was of the organizers. After I read to the nine people who attended my reading (six more than I expected), I crossed the hall and stood in the back of a packed room to watch Michael Ondaatje read from The English Patient. Pitchperfect, that reading. Kind that gives you chills. Later I found out I’d slipped into the room by security-error, which made it that much cooler. What are you reading now? The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I see us reading differently, but I do see us reading. What the “differently” is I can’t say because if you’d told me ten years ago there’d by a Kindle or even three years ago that I’d be able punch up an entire season of a TV show onto my computer, press a button, and send it to my TV in under two hours, I’d have accused you of being a sci-fi-fan-boy-geek. So I don’t see the written word being threatened but I do see its packaging facing some kind of flux. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Depending on their age...The Great Gatsby, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Green Eggs and Ham

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 27

Campbell McGrath Peter Matthiessen What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. The advent of the Internet and its effect, mostly beneficial, on the spread of education and communication here and abroad. (I should confess here that I myself am not yet “on the Web”, will never never “text” and don’t even have e-mail.) What are you reading now? All the dreadful news around the world, at a time (September-October 2008) when our nation appears to hover yet again on the brink of another catastrophic electoral mistake. Also, reading several novels at once, saving the least challenging for later in the evening. Also, various scientific, environmental and natural history reports and articles and related material. Also, occasional Zen Buddhist essays… What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? I have to believe there will always be readers and therefore a demand for the written word. By 2033, most printed matter will have disappeared (even books printed at home on demand), yet a few fine books will still be made for those who like to hold literature in their own hands, take it on trains and hikes, perhaps into the garden and into bed. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Haven’t we already agreed there will be few if any printed books to pass along? My grandchildren will probably be stuck with one or two of poor old decrepit Great-Grandpa’s dusty books as souvenirs.

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. The Book Fair related event I remember best is the reading of three Nobel Prize-winning poets -- Octavio Paz, Derek Walcott, and Czeslaw Milosz -- which took place at the Lincoln Theatre on Lincoln Road, sometime back in the 1990s. What an amazing, world-class, once in a lifetime evening. What are you reading now? Right now I am reading books about Picasso, Matisse, Modernism, surrealism, the poetry of Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Robert Desnos, Pierre Reverdy, and anything related to the life of Picasso -- I guess I should say that I am writing a poetic record/biography of Picasso. Of many good books, John Richardson’s biography of Picasso stands out as a monumental and compelling opus. Next? Hmm... What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? People will certainly be reading in 2033, though how many will be reading books, vs. some form of electronic text, is unclear. I am entirely a book person -- books define my entire life. But I suppose there were also scroll people once upon a time, and cuneiform tablet people, and before that guys who drew bison on cave walls. Books are such flexible, low maintenance artifacts that I doubt they will disappear any time soon, although new technologies will certainly push them further into the margins. As poetry demonstrates, having once been an entirely oral art form, now happily adapted to the printed page, the words matter more than the means of transmission. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Only three books? It’s an impossible choice, as such preferences rise and fall with the years, seasons, and days of the week, but here’s today’s version: Leaves of Grass, War and Peace, and Fernand Braudel’s Civilization and Capitalism.

28 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Frank McCourt What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. 9/11, of course, and the idiotic response to it. For a moment the world loved America and we could have forged huge and warm alliances with other countries. Instead, we pulled our gunslinger act. We decided to go it alone. Look where we are now. What are you reading now? Right now I’m reading a collection of short stories, A Bit on the Side. Every year when he is not awarded the Nobel Prize I scratch my head over the dimness of the literature committee. Next book on my list: another stab at Don Quixote! What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? It goes on - from the scratchings on cave walls to the ‘convenience’ of Sony or Kindle readers - the word will live. A book is food. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? a) You can’t ignore the gorgeousness and splendor and poetry of the King James Bible. Besides, it’s a hell of a good read. b) Glory, folly, wisdom, humor, tragedy, married life - all to be found in The Iliad and The Odyssey. c) It might be a nineteenth century novel but it spills over into the twentieth and our own century, the twenty-first. That novel is Oliver Twist: meaty, exaggerated, sensitive and, again, a hell of a good read.

Ridley Pearson

Joyce Carol Oates What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. This question is just too broad. Sorry! What are you reading now? I’m reading a contemporary American writer whose short stories I will be reviewing for the New York Review of Books....sorry, I can’t divulge the author’s name. Much of my reading is of my very gifted & varied contemporaries, & much of it is for review. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? People will always be reading, but perhaps not “print”-- it’s easy to envision a world of laptop or Kindle readers.  But the instinct to read is deeply imprinted in our brains, I think. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson & Walt Whitman, Melville’s Moby Dick -- just to limit the titles to classic American literature.

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. If a person can be considered an event (and we have researchers looking into this) then there’s only one possible answer: Mitchell Kaplan. No fleet has ever had a better admiral. Mitchell’s enduring calm through the many untold storms--and one very real storm, which is my runner up in “Important Events”--is either the result of unspecified medications, or Mitchell’s being “one cool dude,” and I opt for the latter. Fiercely intelligent, contagiously warm and a brilliant manager, Mitchell has put together the best volunteers and staff to run what is, without a doubt, the best book fair ever staged. What are you reading now? The Man Who Loved China (Simon Winchester); King Lear; To Kill A Mockingbird (the latter two are perennial repeats, this time because I’m teaching a university course in Shanghai, China this year. The first title, well... for the same reason.)

away to unexpected places. An electronic portal into a writer’s imagination. If physical books survive--and I hope and trust they will--they will likely need to be more easily recyclable or reusable, with organic inks and glues, requiring fewer steps than currently exist to turnaround an unwanted book into the next big seller. The industry needs to get away from grinding up stock and bleaching the pulp (typically shipping it overseas to Asia where the environmental restrictions are lower thus allowing the bleaching). At the same time we’re developing high tech reading devices, there has to be more thought put into the future of the physical book, or it may likely not endure, or will become so expensive that it will be a play toy of only the rich--and that would be it’s own story: a tragedy. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy; To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee; Peter and the Starcatchers, Barry and Pearson

What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? My “vision thing” for the future of books is an electronic ink e-book device that will incorporate a blazingly fast wireless connection and huge internal memory so that both fiction and non-fiction books are multi-media. Think: the newspapers and posters in Harry Potter films. Video and audio (holograms?) will be part of the reading experience, if desired, to both inform the reader and/or carry the reader

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 29

Cuál es le futuro de la palabra escrita? Cómo ve a la literatura en el 2033? La palabra escrita, el lenguaje y la narrativa son partes esenciales de la identidad humana que nunca desaparecerán. Los cambios, que serán significativos, los veremos en el modo en que se distribuye y comercializa, en los medios y soportes. La literatura se transformará con la sociedad, como ha hecho siempre.   Cuáles tres libros les pasaría a sus tataranietos? Más que un libro en concreto me gustaría transmitirles el amor y el respeto por todos los libros sin prejuicios ni excepciones y  el interés por el lenguage, la narrativa, las ideas y el pensamiento para que fuesen ellos los que eligiesen sus lecturas y formases su identidad como lectores según su propio criterio y sensibilidad. 

What are you reading now? I am currently reading Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? So long as humans need to communicate, the written word will be necessary, but it will not be generated like we do in 2008. Digital gadgets will replace pen and paper and books will reside in electronic forms that allow us to carry a whole library’s worth in our pockets. There will also be a return to the oral tradition as authors narrate their stories, whether into voice recognition devices that transcribe into text, or as readers of their own works for audio books. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? If I don’t value my own books enough to pass them on to my great grandchildren, I should reread and revise them again until they are worthy of future generations. Or I should get another job. I would also pass on the Iliad, the Odyssey, and War and Peace.

30 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. Of course it is impossible to single out one of the many unforgettable moments I have experienced in 25 years of attending and participating, but certainly there is: a-- the first book fair, terribly important for the obvious reasons (and because I once thought that the vision Mitchell Kaplan described to me back in 1982 was simply impossible) b-watching a capacity audience sit patiently through an interminable introduction for the outrageous Hunter S. Thompson and thinking, “How polite Miamians are.” Do I have to explain? c--listening to the great John Updike detail all the places his new book was NOT to be found as he toured a bookstore in the Miami airport while waiting to be picked up for his appearance, and thinking, “Oh hell, great or small, we are all in the same boat.” d-- but I will give this moment the “most important” designation: Barack Obama’s appearance at the Fair two years back, because it reminded me that books and intelligent thought and political debate are an inextricable, indistinguishable part of the fabric of a worthy culture. What are you reading now? I am reading Alan Furst’s Blood of Victory, first published in 2002, and saved for now like a good wine. If you loved the Hitchcock classics, you will love Furst’s novels. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? The word will always be “written” though the mechanics of that process and the medium in which that “writing” is conveyed to readers will certainly change.


Qué está leyendo en este momento? Qué leerá después? Estoy leyendo el segundo tomo de la magnífica historia del tercer reich del historiador británico Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power y confio poder continuar con el tercer y último tomo, The Third Reich at War, que será publicado muy pronto.

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. There is no ‘most important’ event in the past 25 years. Each is weighed against its consequences for individuals. The return of Mandela from prison, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the destruction of the Twin Towers, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia, the ravages of Hurricane Katrina are “the most” to the people directly affected by them. The moment we begin to list “the most” of anything, we judge from our narrow, vainglorious selves and trivialize others because they didn’t make them to our list, or because they didn’t happen to us.  

Les Standiford


Qué evento siente que ha sido el más importante en los últimos 25 años y por qué? Internprete la pregunta como le parezca. Pienso que más allá de eventos concretos, lo más significativo de los últimos años es el giro que la humanidad esta dando al dejar atrás el frágil equilibrio que quedó al término de la segunda guerra mundial para encaminarse de nuevo a una situación donde la radicalización y el pensamiento dogmático, la financialización y corrupción de la economía mundial y el declive del sistema de hegemonía y valores occidentales van a dar paso a un nuevo escenario donde el ideal de las democracias parlamentarias y las socieda des liberales y moderadas irán desapareciendo.  

Esmeralda Santiago


Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Zoé Valdés Scott Turow But not to fret, bibliophiles, less paper means more trees, and “for a small or not so small additional fee” one will probably always be able to order one’s reading materials in that quaint form once known as a “book.”

What are you reading now? I’m reading a very good collection of short stories, Captive Audience, by a young writer named Dave Reidy that has just been accepted for publication. What is the future of the written word? How do you see us reading in 2033? The written word has a brilliant future; its efficiency as a medium of communication is unrivalled. And the intimacy of literature, the directness of the connection between the author and the reader, will not be supplanted.  But the delivery devices may change.  I love books, but I’m not persuaded that there isn’t a gizmo, yet to be invented, that will be as portable, tactile — and waterproof. What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren?  It’s a different list every time I am asked this question, but here is today’s: 1.  Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce; 2. The Complete Works of Shakespeare and 3. One book of mine.  The last would not be my choice for anybody else’s great grandchildren but they are, after all, my great grandchildren and I’d like to be sure they know me on my own terms.


courtesy random house


Qué está leyendo en este momento? Qué leerá después? Estoy leyendo Les bains de Kiraly (Los baños de Kiraly) es una novela muy bella de Jean Mattern, acabo de leer Le fait du Prince (El hecho del Príncipe) de Amèlie Nothomb, una novela en la que ella nos devuelve a su magnífica Higiene del asesino, sin proponérselo. Los Baños de Kiraly es una obra extraordinaria, y es una primera novela, es un nuevo existencialismo. Cuál es le futuro de la palabra escrita? Cómo ve a la literatura en el 2033? El futuro de la escritura es muy vasto, la escritura es inagotable. Habría que preguntarse cuál será el futuro del papel, probablemente. En el 2033, y eso sí me da miedo, habrá escritores muy puros, no existirán los estilos literarios y un procesador corregirá cada error, cada faltita minúscula, entonces la personalidad del escritor detrás de la escritura desaparecerá, todo el mundo escribirá igual, sin errores propios, y con la imaginación muy atada, qué fastidio, qué aburrimiento. Pero siempre habrá alguien diferente que rompa con la uniformidad... ¿Ve usted? Desde ahora ya le estoy narrando una historia del 2033. ¿Es una fecha especial? ¿Dijo algo Nostradamus al respecto? Cuáles tres libros les pasaría a sus tataranietos? Depende de la edad que tengan, pero de pequeños les daría: Platero y yo de Juan Ramón Jiménez, Alicia en el país de las maravillas de Lewis Carroll y La historia interminable de Michael Ende.


What three books would you pass on to your great-grandchildren? As opposed to trying to think of the three essential books, I will pick three for reasons that matter to me, in no particular order of importance. I trust that other conservators will see to the well-roundedness of my greatgrandchildren. First, and I am sorry if anyone out there finds this offensive -- I would pass along one of MY books, though certainly not because I believe any of them is somehow “better” than the myriad other choices (hey if they are not worth being read, then why bother to write them?). As to which one, you will have to ask me on my deathbed. Secondly, I think I would slip along a copy of Street Eight by Douglas Fairbairn, because his slender novel captures perfectly the essence of the Miami to which I came to live in the 1980s, and which indeed proved a singular place to the rest of the world. And finally, Dickens’s Great Expectations, as an example of the brawling, energetic, romantic works I have always loved. There, that ought to suggest what made your great-granddad tick, you ungrateful little ankle-biters of the future!

What event do you feel has been the most important in the past 25 years and why? Interpret the question as you wish. It’s either 9/11 or the first time I sang with the Rock Bottom Remainders at the Book Fair in November, 1999.

Qué evento siente que ha sido el más importante en los últimos 25 años y por qué? Internprete la pregunta como le parezca. El evento más importante de estos últimos 25 años es la Feria del libro de Miami, ¿no? Para mí, en serio, el evento más importante no es uno, son todos aquellos que se han hecho para la conservación y preservación de la naturaleza en nuestro planeta. Para que la vida sea una vida sana.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 31

The Evolution of the Graphi c Novel By John Shableski

ry o t s hi orm f e i A br n art f of a

If you haven’t discovered graphic novels yet, this year’s Miami Book Fair International offers an opportunity to experience this cutting edge reading format. What are graphic novels? They are books that pair sequential art or comic drawings with text. Will Eisner, coiner of the term and father of the art as we know it today, called it “a creative process that employs the skills of an accomplished writer and an artist of great sophistication.” NARUTO Courtesy of NARUTO © 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc. YELLOW KID and BUSTER BROWN COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA ALL OTHER COURTESY OF RANDOM HOUSE

The Yellow Kid was a character in Richard F. Outcault’s, Hogan’s Alley (1894). It was one of the first Sunday supplements in an American Newspaper.

Buster Brown, the orginal bad boy was created in 1902 by Richard Felton Outcault.

They can be a single story developed specifically as a book, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, or as a series of related stories, such as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. They have been around for ages and have taken on different iterations over time.

Graphic novels have a deeply rooted history as both a literary and visual art form. The use of images to communicate dates back some 40,000 years to illustrations drawn on caves in France. Hieroglyphics have been documented in ancient Egypt and in the Mayan ruins. These images represent highly evolved and very effective forms of storytelling. In the earliest days of this country, comics and cartoons were a commonly used platform for political statements, whether it was to declare American independence or to denounce slavery. There was a great deal of power in the use of comic illustrations, a tradition that continues today. Seduction of the Innocent is a book by Dr. Frederic Wertham, published in 1954, that warned that comic books were a bad form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency.

Comics found a new kind of audience and fame in the late 1800s with the creation of a character called The Yellow Kid. Richard Felton Outcault created him as a vehicle for social commentary on life in Victorian-era New York City. The following for this character became so strong that it led to a battle between two newspaper behemoths, Joseph Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst, over who would have the rights to print the comic strip. The arrival of the Yellow Kid took place at a moment when newspapers ruled as the primary source of information. The Sunday comics of the newspapers were the most heavily read sections and helped to spawn a secondary industry for comics: commercial licensing. Yellow Kid was soon seen on everything from dolls to boxes of soap. Not too long afterwards, Outcault created another commercially successful comic strip character named Buster Brown who spoke to many issues of the day, including the evils of smoking. The comic book industry was just beginning to flourish by the very early 1930s with Flash Gordon, Tarzan, and Dick Tracy -- all a part of what is now known as the Golden Age of comics. Superheroes Dick Tracy was created by cartoonist Chester Gould in 1931

34 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

First newspaper comic of Flash Gordon (1934) was originally drawn by Alex Raymond Tarzan was adapted in comic strip form in early 1929. Tarzana, California where Burroughs lived was renamed in honor of Tarzan in 1927. .com Courtesy

of johncolemanburroughs

as we now know them didn’t exist until Superman, who finally arrived on the scene in the late 1930s. By this time comics had a major presence on newsstands across the country.

At this moment you have to take a step back and look at a bigger picture of what was happening in American society. Rock and roll had virtually exploded. Movies like Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without a Cause were in theaters. Traditional publishing was offering up new voices like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The television industry had replaced movies and the radio as our primary source of entertainment. Even with all of this “youth culture” comics was the only art form that took the heat for increasing the level of juvenile delinquency and the publishers were brought in before Congress to defend their industry.

MAD was founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952.

House of Random Courtesy

“APPROVED” by the CCA created in 1954 in response to public concern about what was deemed inappropriate material in many comic books.

, Inc.

In the 1950s, there was a sense of uncertainty in the country. America was reeling from the Cold War and political witch hunts from the McCarthy hearings to Hollywood blacklisting. Controversy began to brew in the comics industry when a psychiatrist named Dr. Frederick Wertham wrote several articles about the poisonous effects of comics on the adolescent brain. These were followed by his book Seduction of the Innocent, where Wertham made some astonishing connections between the increase in juvenile delinquency and comics. His scathing judgments led to a public outcry and book burnings across the country.

Courtesy King Features Syndicate

The Spirit was created by artistwriter Will Eisner in 1940 in a Sunday paper comic insert.

It wasn’t Wertham’s book that was the ultimate undoing of comics; it was the publishers themselves. In an effort to appease Congress, the publishers banded together to create the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which was a tool meant to enforce “good

Courtesy of DC COMICS

Courtesy of Random House, Inc. Courtesy of Random House, Inc.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 35

Art Spiegelman’s masterpiece was first published in August 1986

publishing” for the industry. With this code, gruesome acts of vampirism, ghouls and things that nightmares were made of were not to be depicted. Negative depictions of government officials were also considered taboo. With all the fun stuff and the underpinnings of social commentary gutted, sales plummeted to barely a whisper. Prior to the Code, sales of ten-cent comics were well above 100 million dollars annually. Aside from Archie’s, MAD magazine and a few others, the industry muddled along putting out fare that was essentially edited to meet the code. The writers for the Archie’s books never had to worry about changing anything to meet the code as their content contained nothing controversial. Mad survived thanks in large part to its own subversive nature. By reformatting as a magazine, they were no longer considered a comic book and strong sales of Mad ensured its position at the newsstands.

Courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Bone is written and drawn by Jeff Smith. 55 issues of Bone were published between 1991-2004.

Scott Pigrim was created by Bryan Lee O’Malley and first published in 2004. The series is about a 23year-old Canadian slacker, hero, wannabe-rockstar, who is living in Toronto and playing bass in the band “Sex Bob-Omb.”

Courtesy of oni press


Courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Watchmen is a 12 issue comic book series created by by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins. It is currently being adapted into a movie by 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.

Thus a new world of “underground comics” from the likes of Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman began to evolve. Another survivor of the comics dark ages was Will Eisner. Eisner’s works date back to the 1930s when comics were just beginning and carried on through a revolution of the art form with his first graphic novel A Contract with God in 1978. Contract marked a significant moment as it introduced a format for comics that was much longer than the typical pamphlet-style comic book. In the early ‘90s the format took another great step forward with the arrival of a brilliant book called Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman. So compelling was his depiction of his father’s experience in the Holocaust that he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and with this award the graphic novel format gained a new level of credibility. In the mid-‘90s, Alan Moore’s The Watchmen, Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman all found a strong following not only as comic book series but also as graphic novels. And the format also was being influenced from the East as manga, a new form of graphic novel that reads from back to front, was introduced from Japan. Where did these books first catch on? In libraries, with teens and tweens. Librarians who were early to adopt graphic novels into their collections began to see strong circulation numbers. Where an adult bestselling title would be checked out once every seven days, a given graphic novel was being checked out daily. This same audience was suggesting different genres and creating reading clubs. While readership for western culture graphic novels like Bone, Blankets, Scott Pilgrim, Hellboy and Watchmen

36 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

of Dark Horse

Courtesy of Hachette Book

continued to grow, manga played a huge role in the evolution of the market with titles such as Fruits Basket or Naruto. Beyond the library, most readers began to rely on the Internet to find more graphic novels. The new entertainment medium made everything more accessible.


Robert Crumb is one of the founders of the underground comix movement which began to appear in the late 60s.


If you thought these books were only for kids, pick up a copy of The Dark Tower: A Gunslinger Born by Stephen King, or Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer. Other New York Times bestselling authors, including Laurell K. Hamilton, Jodi Picoult and James Patterson, are crossing over to write for this exciting new medium. These authors and many others now see graphic novels as a natural next step in the evolution of storytelling. The growing popularity of graphic novels hasn’t been lost on the rest of the entertainment world. Many of last summer’s blockbuster movies were based on graphic novels: Iron Man, Hellboy, Wanted and The Dark Knight Returns. Eagerly anticipated movie versions of The Spirit from Will Eisner and The Watchmen from Alan Moore are coming soon. As long as the movie studios view the graphic novel industry as fertile ground for juggernaut movies, you will continue to see more publishing houses cultivating great stories for readers.

Blankets is a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, published in 2003 by Top Shelf Productions. A memoir, the book tells the story of Thompson’s childhood in an Evangelical Christian family, his first love, and his early adulthood.

Courtesy of N O ARUT 99 by © 19 Masashi EISHA

/SHU Kishimoto Inc.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born is a seven-issue comic book limited series, published by Marvel Comics. It is the first story arc of five based on The Dark Tower series of novels by Stephen King.

The 25th anniversary of the Miami Book Fair International marks a watershed moment for graphic novels. Although there have been major annual conventions of comics geniuses and their fans for years, this is the first time the genre has been given equal billing in a major literary festival. Creators like Art Spiegelman, Chip Kidd, and others from around the country are here in Miami to discuss their craft right alongside 400 “traditional” authors. Be sure to take a tour of the Comix Galaxy where you can explore graphic novel stories of all genres and styles and meet the artists and writers behind these exciting works. >MBFI

copyright Craig Thompson. Published by Top Shelf Productions


of M Courtesy

Hellboy was created by writerartist Mike Mignola. The character premiered at the Great Salt Lake Comic Convention in 1991.

Naruto is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 37

38 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

by Vera (Hernán Vera Álvarez) translated by Celeste Fraser Delgado

Hijos del BIG BANG

25 años de literatura latinoamericana

Big Bang Theory

Contemporary Latin American Literature Beyond Magical Realism

The morning of April 8, 1963, on board the transatlantic cruise ship Federico C. in the port of Buenos Aires, the Polish writer Witold Grombowicz was about to end his intense, 24-year stay in South America. On deck of the boat that would bring him back to Europe, before a group of young writers and intellectuals, he shouted: “Boys, kill Borges!” So Grombowicz shone a light on the specters that obscured the vision of all aspiring writers. Who can shrug off the image and commandments of our fathers lightly? Fortunately, for the past 25 or 30 years, Latin American writers have perpetrated a delightful parricide and paid for their daring by inventing a new literature with each new book. To prove the point there’s Ricardo Piglia, Juan José Saer, Tomas Eloy Martínez, Cesar Aira, Rodrigo Fresán, Osvaldo Lamborghini (Argentina), Edmundo Paz Soldán (Bolivia); Roberto Bolaño, Alberto Fuguet, Pedro Lemebel, Alejandro Zambra (Chile); Laura Restrepo, Fernando Vallejo, Santiago Gamboa, Mario Mendoza, Jorge Franco (Colombia); Mayra Montero, Daína Chaviano, Zoe Valdés, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, Antonio Orlando Rodríguez (Cuba); Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Guatemala), Horacio Castellanos Moya, Roberto Quesada (Honduras),Cristina Rivera Garza, Juan Villoro,

La mañana del 8 de abril de 1963, a bordo del trasatlántico Federico C., en el puerto de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, el escritor polaco Witold Gombrowicz estaba a punto de cerrar el largo e intenso capítulo que significó sus 24 años de vida sudamericana. En la cubierta del barco que lo llevaría de regreso a Europa y ante un grupo de jóvenes escritores e intelectuales, se despidió gritando: “¡Muchachos, maten a Borges!”. De este modo, Gombrowicz alumbraba los fantasmas oscuros que distraen la visión de todo artista cachorro. ¿Quién acaso logra sin dificultad sustraerse de la imagen y el mandato paternos? Afortunadamente, en los últimos 25 años de literatura latinoamericana – señalo esta fecha por el tema del artículo pero podríamos extenderla a 30 o 35– sus creadores han efectuado un delicioso parricidio pagando por esa osadía el precio de dar con cada nuevo libro nueva literatura. Allí están para confirmarlo Ricardo Piglia, Juan José Saer, Tomas Eloy Martínez, Cesar Aira, Rodrigo Fresán, Osvaldo Lamborghini (Argentina), Edmundo Paz Soldán (Bolivia); Roberto Bolaño, Alberto Fuguet, Pedro Lemebel, Alejandro Zambra (Chile); Laura Restrepo, Fernando Vallejo, Santiago Gamboa, Mario Mendoza, Jorge Franco

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 39

Mario Bellatin, Guillermo Fadanelli, Ignacio Padilla, Jorge Volpi, Albero Ruy Sánchez (México); Iván Thays, Santiago Roncagliolo, Jorge Eduardo Benavides (Perú); Mayra Santos-Febres (Puerto Rico), Alberto Barrera Tyszka (Venezuela). Many of these writers have graced the stage at Miami Book Fair International in the last 25 years. Nevertheless, an attentive reader will find in this list of authors coincidences and rejections, apologies and feuds. But nowhere any trace of magical realism. During what came to be known in the 1960s as the Latin American Boom, there was one figure who distorted the image of Spanish-language literature both for Latin American readers and for export: Gabriel García Márquez. Of course, One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of those rare books that appears sui generis and instantly becomes a classic among classics. The only problem was that for years after its publication, publishers and to a large degree the public demanded that every book recount the adventures of the Buendía family. Apart from some obvious imitations and empty clones, Latin American literature today has overcome this cliché and now explores an urban identity that is alternately raw and cosmopolitan. Were Grombowicz to set sail today, he might substitute García Márquez for Borges, shouting: “Boys, kill Gabo!” Perfect, musical, aesthetic. Super groups of authors in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early ‘00s declared their independence from the rural villages of magical realism and claimed the city beneath the banners of McOndo (a play on the town of Macondo, where One Hundred Years of Solitude was set) or Crack (a hyperurban movement in Mexico) or Bogotá 39. The destination might be Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, or Caracas, but the city is always the new literary heart of darkness. That might be the only local color that tints the territory of La Mancha, as Carlos Fuentes once called literature in Spanish. The terror takes the form of Campo Elías Delgado, Vietnam vet and serial killer responsible for 25 murders in contemporary Bogotá (Satanás, M. Mendoza) or a teenager showing off expensive American sneakers (made in Singapore) and packing a .45 in search for a new client (La Virgen de los Sicarios, F. Vallejo). Or simply an embalmed cadaver who rattles one and all with unanswered

(Colombia); Mayra Montero, Daína Chaviano, Zoe Valdés, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, Antonio Orlando Rodríguez (Cuba); Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Guatemala), Horacio Castellanos Moya, Roberto Quesada (Honduras),Cristina Rivera Garza, Juan Villoro, Mario Bellatin, Guillermo Fadanelli, Ignacio Padilla, Jorge Volpi, Albero Ruy Sánchez (México); Iván Thays, Santiago Roncagliolo, Jorge Eduardo Benavides (Perú); Mayra Santos-Febres (Puerto Rico), Alberto Barrera Tyszka (Venezuela). Sin embargo, un lector atento – y sabemos que los lectores que concurren a este tipo de eventos por lo general lo son– encontrará en la lista de autores coincidencias y rechazos, apologías y colecciones de odios. Pero nada, absolutamente nada de realismo mágico. Si ha habido una figura dentro de lo que se dio en llamar en la década del ’60 el Boom Latinoamericano que distorsionó en gran medida la literatura en español de puertas adentro pero también for export fue Gabriel García Márquez. Por supuesto: “Cien años de soledad” es uno de esos libros publicado para ser instantáneamente un gran clásico de clásicos, una obra que se creó un origen sin filiaciones. El problema fue que durante años los editores y parte del público exigieron nuevas aventuras de la familia Buendía. Salvo groseras imitaciones, clones vacios, hoy la literatura latinoamericana le ha ganado a ese cliché y se desliza entre el filo de la cruda realidad urbana y cosmopolita. Por eso, donde se dice Borges póngase un García Márquez y la frase quedará “¡Muchachos, maten a Gabo!”. Perfecta, musical, estética. Bajo el resguardo de McOndo, el Crack o Bogotá 39 – súper combos de autores creados en la década del ’80, ‘90 y principios del ‘00, respectivamente– esas voces forman una sola llena de los matices que generan los 19 país de la región. Las escalas pueden ser el D.F, Lima, Buenos Aires, Caracas pero la ciudad es el corazón de las tinieblas. Se diría que ése es el único color local que destiñe “el territorio de la Mancha” como dijo Carlos Fuentes a propósito de la literatura en español. El terror es Campo Elías Delgado, veterano de la guerra de Vietnam y ejecutor de 25 asesinatos en el Bogotá actual (“Satanás”, M. Mendoza, Premio Biblioteca Breve Seix Barral 2002) o un niño-adolescente mostrando sus caros sneakers norteamericanos (made in Singapur) y el cargador

40 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

prayers, enigmas, and threats (Santa Evita, T. Eloy Martínez). At times this terror is revealed in the sex and heat amid a city’s refuse (Filthy Havana Trilogy, P.J. Gutiérrez) or in brief, iconoclastic postcards (Insane Affinitity: AIDS Chronicles, P. Lemebel). Ironically, these are all B-sides of a hallucinatory Macondo, born of the logic of magic realism’s worst nightmares. We’ll say it: urban, yes, but also cosmopolitan. This narrative respectfully and elegantly turns its back on the indigenous novel, the rural novel. Some narrators desire to expand their territories and travel through time. We can read a novel by a Mexican author (such as Ignacio Padilla and his Tuscan Grotto) about the Himalayas and the search for Dante’s nine circles of hell in the outskirts of Paris where a serial killer attacks elderly women (The Quest, J. J. Saer) or an odyssey undertaken by the new pariahs in the Age of Aquarius (The Ulysses Syndrome, S. Gamboa). And we shouldn’t leave out another Mexican author, a disciple of French thinker Roland Barthes, who recreated a mythical Morroco in the saga of the imaginary kingdom of Mogador (Names in the Air and The Secret Gardens of Mogador). At the other extreme, we find the figure of the flâneur. Through his wandering and distant gaze, free of prejudice, we see the profundity of the human condition. As writer and filmmaker Edgardo Cozarinsky (called by The Guardian “a fascinating and underappreciated author”) points out in his novel Nocturnal Maneuvers: “I am and remain a flâneur. I’m a visitor, always passing through, lending myself to the scene as I please without surrendering myself.” Since walking is the same as reading, these urban tales are a way of rereading history. That’s where we can see explicitly the ideology of these new authors. Far from the pamphlets of any revolutionary yet not disillusioned, since this generation never believed in any political party or great leader. The only conviction is to aesthetics. For this artistic vision there are many sources: crime fiction with a strong North American influence, journalistic chronicles and reportage, and, above all, the intelligent appropriation of multimedia in popular culture (TV, film, Internet). There are plenty of writers who feel no embarassment whatsoever in

de un revólver 45 en busca de un nuevo cliente (“La Virgen de los Sicarios”, F. Vallejo). O simplemente un cadáver embalsamado que estremece a unos y otros por plegarias desatendidas, por enigmas y peligros (“Santa Evita”, T. Eloy Martínez). A veces ese terror es iluminado por el sexo y el calor de entre los escombros una ciudad (“Trilogía sucia de La Habana”, P.J. Gutiérrez, finalista del Premio Herralde de novela 1998). O en breves postales iconoclastas (“Loco Afán: Crónicas de Sidario”, P. Lemebel). Irónicamente, todas versiones lado B de un Macondo alucinado, provisto de la lógica de las peores pesadilla. Lo dijimos: urbana sí pero también cosmopolita. Una narrativa que le da la espalda con elegancia y respeto a la novela indigenista, de campo. Algunos narradores tienen el deseo de expandir los territorios y dar un salto en el tiempo. Podemos leer tanto la novela de un autor mexicano (es el caso de Ignacio Padilla y “La gruta del Toscano”) sobre el Himalaya y la búsqueda de los nueve círculos del Infierno dantesco a principios del siglo XX como las peripecias en la ciudad de París de un serial killer de ancianas o la odisea de los nuevos parias en la era de Acuario (“La Pesquisa”, J. J. Saer; “El Síndrome de Ulises”, S. Gamboa, respectivamente). Sin olvidar a otro autor mexicano, discípulo de Roland Barthes, Albero Ruy Sánchez, que recrea un Marruecos mítico en la saga del reino de Mogador (“ Los nombres del aire”, “Los jardines secretos de Mogador”) Y en ambos extremos la figura del flâneur. A través de su mirada libre de prejuicios, errática y no menos distante, transparenta las profundidades de la condición humana. Como señala el escritor y cineasta Edgardo Cozarinsky (según The Guardian “un autor fascinante e injustamente oscuro”) en la novela “Maniobras Nocturnas”: “Soy, sigo siendo un flâneur. Estoy de visita, siempre de paso, prestándome sin entregarme al escenario de mi placer”. Y si caminar no es otra cosa que leer, las narrativas urbanas como las que suceden en diferentes lugares son una manera de releer la historia. Es por ahí donde se cuela la ideología que podemos explícitamente ver en los nuevos autores. Alejados del panfleto de cualquier revolución pero sin desencanto, ya que nunca hubo una creencia en un partido o líder político. Acaso el único compromiso sea estético.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 41

admitting that they love writing for telenovelas or that they produce their work with the vertiginous rhythm of a sitcom. That’s the point: speed. At times the pace is so quick, the result seems to be fast fiction. That’s where speed leads: to seemingly frothy novels that are actually quite deep. A few examples include Pudor (Modesty, by S. Rongagliolo and made into a film by Tristán Ulloa), Palacio Quemado (Burnt Palace, E. Paz Soldán), Malacara (Bad Face, G. Fadanelli), El Rufián Moldavo (The Moldavian Ruffian, E. Cozarinsky), Varamo (C. Aira), Mala Onda (Bad Vibe, A. Fuguet). Other writers insert graphic images in their texts in the blogosphere: I. Thays and the unpredictable and C. Rivera Garza’s novel as work in progress. To talk of the last 25 years of Latin American literature is to confirm the existence of a new canon. This library includes Novels and Stories (O. Lamborghini), Artificial Respiration (R. Piglia), Santa Evita (T. Eloy Martínez), Savage Detectives and 2.666 (R. Bolaño), Beauty Shop (M. Bellatin), Our Lady of the Assassins (F. Vallejo), Before Night Falls (R. Arenas), In Search of Klingsor (J. Volpi). While distinct from each other, these works could not have been written in any other era since they speak to the world their authors had the luck to inhabit. Nothing more and nothing less. In the First Conference of Latin American Writer in Seville held in June 2003, Rodrigo Fresán invited his and subsequent generations to “pursue a Big Bang rather than a boom or a crack.” A cosmic cataclysm that would be both defining and definitive would disperse the stars so that each soars its own way. There is so much space in space. And, in that way, space is a like a black page, filled with light.” Let there be light. >MBFI

Para esa visión artística del mundo los recursos son varios: el policial negro en una obvia influencia de la narrativa norteamericana, la crónica e investigación periodística y, sobre todo, el saqueo inteligente de los mecanismos de los medios audiovisuales populares (tv, cine, Internet). No son pocos los escritores que no se ruborizan al decir que les encanta escribir para las telenovelas o plantean sus obras con el mismo ritmo vertiginoso de una sitcom. Ahí esta el punto: la velocidad. La velocidad que hace creer que en más de una oportunidad se está frente a una novela rápida. Pero la velocidad da eso: novelas falsamente ligeras pero verídicamente ondas, o si se quiere “profundas”. Algunas de ellas son “Pudor”, llevada al cine por Tristán Ulloa, de S. Roncagliolo , “Palacio Quemado” (E. Paz Soldán), “Malacara” (G. Fadanelli), “El Rufián Moldavo” (E. Cozarinsky), “Varamo” (C. Aira), “Mala Onda” (A. Fuguet) . Otros escritores prefieren colocar lo visual en el texto en la blogósfera – I. Thays y su imprescindible; C. Rivera Garza publicó en una suerte de work in progress una novela. Hablar hoy de los últimos 25 años en la literatura latinoamericana es, además, comprobar la existencia de un nuevo canon. En esa biblioteca conviven “Novelas y cuentos” (O. Lamborghini), “Respiración artificial”, (R. Piglia), “Santa Evita” (T. Eloy Martínez),”Los Detectives Salvajes” y “2.666” (R. Bolaño), ”Salón de Belleza” (M. Bellatin) , “La Virgen de los Sicarios” (F. Vallejo), “Antes que anochezca” (R. Arenas), ‘En busca de Klingsor” (J. Volpi). Son obras muy diferentes entre sí pero imposibles de haber sido escritas en otra época ya que hablan del mundo que les toco en suerte. Nada más ni nada menos. En el Primer Encuentro de Escritores Latinoamericanos en Sevilla realizado en junio de 2003, Rodrigo Fresán invitaba a ésta y a las nuevas generaciones “a perseguir un Big-Bang en lugar de un boom o un crack. Un cataclismo cósmico definitorio y definitivo: que se dispersen las estrellas, que cada una se vaya para su lado. Hay tanto espacio en el espacio. Y, así, el espacio como una página en negro, llena de luces”. A brillar entonces. >MBFI

42 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Discover High Style & High-Tech Living

This incredible luxury condominium project was designed by the renowned architectural firm, Arquitectonica. Completed in the summer of 2008, 500 Brickell offers residents modern living surrounded by spectacular views of the Miami skyline. It is also the first building in downtown to utilize I.R.I.S., a unique computerized system which stands for Intuitive Resident Information System. This Sony-designed technology integrates building services with the convenience of a personal laptop. The incredible lifestyle offered here includes amenities such as European-style cabinets and stainless steel appliances, a 42nd floor rooftop infinity edge pool, an 11th floor club room with billiards tables and bay views, a resident wine cellar room, a spectacular spa and fitness center and a 20-seat movie theater. Call today for your private tour of 500 Brickell.

Priced from the $250s The 500 Brickell sales office is currently located at: 500 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2101, Miami, FL 33131 305-379-5055

Barack Obama (2006)

Cornel West (1997)

Maya Angelou (1986)

Toni Morrison (1986)

A Writer’s Journey by Tananarive Due

Who knew a Jewish bookseller would introduce me to inspirational black writers? When I catalogue the peak experiences in my life, the Miami Book Fair International has brought me more than its share: Singing “Proud Mary” on stage with the likes of Warren Zevon, Stephen King, Amy Tan and Dave Barry to back me up. Appearing beside the late, great Octavia E. Butler. Talks with high school and college students about how to grab their dreams. Now, as a parent, the chance to help my four-and-ahalf-year-old son discover the joy of books.

44 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Octavia Butler (2005)

Walter Mosley (1996)

“It’s hard to count the number of times I wished I didn’t have my own panel or reading because it meant missing an author I wanted to see. Toni Morrison. Cornel West. Walter Mosley. Barack Obama. There have been too many to count.”

The list goes on and on. For me, the Miami Book Fair began with Mitchell Kaplan himself. When I was a tenth-grader at Miami Southridge High School, I walked into my English class to discover a 25year-old, relatively long-haired, effortlessly “hip” new teacher named Mitchell Kaplan — and he was my favorite from day one. Rather than taking the boring textbook approach to his lessons, Mr. Kaplan gave us esoteric exercises like gazing at a picture he drew on the chalkboard and writing about what the image made us feel. The day John Lennon was murdered, he played “Imagine” for us in the classroom and tried to give social context to a new generation — no easy feat. I so trusted his judgment that I gave him about 200 pages of a handwritten novel to read for his feedback. (He found one of my characters “too mean,” but he READ every word!) I remember when Mitchell was literally putting up bookshelves on his weekends in pursuit of his dream to own a bookstore. The rest is history. Books & Books is a Miami institution, and the Miami Book Fair, under Mitchell’s guiding hand, has grown into a literary phenomenon unlike any other in the nation. Any time I try to explain to newcomers what to expect from the Miami Book Fair, all I can say is, “It’s…er…uh…You have to SEE IT!”

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 45

The Miami Book Fair defies easy description. I was especially excited when, fresh after studying African writers at the University of Leeds in England, I was able to help plan a panel featuring Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o and South African poet Dennis Brutus. There was an element of magic to imagining a literary conversation and then watching it come to life before my eyes. To help bring African writers to my home community! Soon enough, I would be an author myself — and the Miami Book Fair has been beside me at every step. As if it wasn’t thrilling enough that Mitchell dedicated an ENTIRE window at Books & Books to my first published novel, The Between, I was invited to participate in a panel to talk about my novel at the Miami Book Fair in 1995. After participating as a reader for so long, it was mindblowing to sit and field questions as an author. My first-ever reading was at Books & Books, but I reached yet another milestone when I became a Book Fair author. All I can say now is what I said then: Wow. I was lucky to enter publishing when I did. If I had tried to market supernatural suspense novels featuring black characters even five years earlier, I’m convinced I would have hit a brick wall. What made the difference? Terry McMillan published Waiting to Exhale — and demonstrated that black readers would buy commercial fiction. I like to say that I rode into publishing on McMillan’s long skirt. (McMillan, of course, has visited the Book Fair often, and I introduced her when she made an appearance at Books & Books in 1996.) And I am not alone: There was a wave of black authors who benefited from McMillan’s success, and still do — many of whom have also appeared at the Book Fair over the years. Each time I attend the fair, I wear two hats: My “author” hat and my “reader” hat. It’s hard to count the number of times I wished I didn’t have my own panel or reading because it meant missing an author I wanted to see. Toni Morrison. Cornel West. Walter Mosley. Barack Obama. There have been too many to count. And 1997 was special in ways I remain grateful for to this day. That year marked the publication of my second novel, My Soul to Keep. It’s also the year I met my current husband, Steven Barnes, at a conference on black speculative fiction at Clark Atlanta University. At that same conference, I met science fiction titan Octavia E. Butler. My experience at Clark was so meaningful — life-changing, actually — that I wanted to help recreate it at the Miami Book Fair. With the ever-present dedication of fair planners like Janell Walden Agyeman, we

46 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

created a black speculative fiction panel with me, Steve, Octavia and Samuel R. Delany. Like the African writers’ panel, it afforded local readers a glimpse into a rarefied genre right in our own back yard. There were only a handful of panels like it anywhere in the nation. After Butler’s untimely death in 2004, a photo from that panel at the Miami Book Fair is now posted on my website at www., as a precious time capsule. Steven Barnes would soon become my husband — and Octavia E. Butler remains, to us, a shining star. The year 1997 also brought me another unforgettable moment. Through all of the gifts that the Book Fair has bestowed — the lessons on craft, story and the writer’s life — I have to confess that the rock star in me has gained just as much. I’m talking about the Rock Bottom Remainders, of course! After my first book was published, I ran into humorist Dave Barry in the cafeteria of the Miami Herald building, where we both worked at the time. I told Dave how excited I was about the upcoming Rock Bottom Remainders concert, and how I — a fledgling keyboardist—could only dream of one day performing with the group. Dave thought for a moment and said, “Well…Mitch Albom, our keyboardist, will be doing vocals for ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ Can you do keyboards for the Elvis number?” “Sure!” I said. (“What?!” I was thinking. In that moment, I was so stunned that I couldn’t have hummed a single bar at gunpoint.) I rushed right out to get an Elvis songbook to prepare for my big debut…and I had a blast! Since that time, I have performed with the Rock Bottom Remainders at least a half-dozen times, most often in Miami, and mostly as a backup singer — although I’m happy just to be a “band chick” swaying to the beat. Whatever the capacity, I always have a great time. My high point was when Kathi Kamen Goldmark, who founded the Remainders, invited me to sing Tina Turner’s version of “Proud Mary” with the Remainders live at Bayside. (Later, on the CD “Stranger Than Fiction” produced by Goldmark’s Don’t Quit Your Day Job Records, my voice appears with the late, great Warren Zevon singing Ike Turner’s part.)

Tananarive Due is the American Book Award-winning author of nine books, ranging from supernatural thrillers to a mystery to a civil rights memoir. Her newest novel, Blood Colony, is the long-awaited sequel to her 2001 thriller The Living Blood and 1997’s My Soul to Keep, a reader favorite that Stephen King said “bears favorable comparison to Interview with the Vampire.” Due also collaborates with her husband, novelist and screenwriter Steven Barnes. They recently sold their screenplay adaptation of her novel The Good House to Fox Searchlight studios. In the summer of 2007, Due and Barnes published their first mystery, Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel, which they wrote in collaboration with actor Blair Underwood. The series will continue with In the Night of the Heat, scheduled for publication later this year. Due, who teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles, is a former feature writer and columnist for the Miami Herald.

Maybe you have to be a closet rocker to understand. Thank you, Miami Book Fair. Without you, my life would not have been the same. >MBFI A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 47


The only problem we writers have is that it is often difficult to write fiction in a city stranger than anything in our vivid imaginations.

48 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


MIAMI NOIR by Edna Buchanan

Three things learned being a mystery writer in Miami: Learn to use a gun. Never miss a chance to pee. And for inspiration, just take a look outside your door. Any place that ignites a writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passion is a brilliant setting for a mystery novel. Miami has it all: smuggling, money laundering, gunrunning, the mafia, mass murder, deposed dictators, foreign fugitives, illegal aliens, bombs, terrorists, spies, street people, bizarre sects, animal sacrifice, grave robbers, voodoo, bizarre sex, serial killers, riches, utter poverty, corrupt politics, exotic diseases, racial tensions, refugees and riots. We also have the Miami Book Fair International, celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no surprise that as Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Book Fair grew in stature, reputation and

success, the city replaced Los Angeles as the boom town of mysteries in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Miami is a fine place for mystery writers. And we all love the Book Fair, and it loves us back, inviting many of us to take part each year, along with four hundred or so other writers from around the world. From the late Charles Willeford (Miami Blues), the godfather of us all, Miami has spawned mystery writers ranging from lawyers, such as Paul Levine (Jake Lassiter series) and James Grippando (Jack Swyteck series), to reporters such as

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 49


COURTESY random house


The Miami River: favorite site of all that is dark and devious.

Carl Hiaasen (Tourist Season, et al.) and yours truly, to cops and private detectives such as Carolina Garcia-Aguilera (Lupe Solano series), and college professors like Les Standiford (John Deal series) – all who plumb the city’s gritty underside for their hard-edged contemporary fiction portraying postcard perfect Miami as a seductive beauty with hidden demons. Leaving this city is like leaving a lover at the height of the romance. I don’t want to miss a thing. But authors, they say, must introduce their books to the world. I asked my friend, Charles Willeford, what I should know about the book tour. He did not hesitate. “Never miss a chance to take a piss.” Men, I thought, frowning impatiently. Why must they always be crude? Soon after, departing a Pittsburgh radio during the book tour, I told the publicist who had me in tow that I intended to stop at the rest room before leaving. “No way,” she said firmly, pushing me aboard an elevator. “We’re behind schedule now.”

50 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


Charlie was right. Another radio and one TV show later, my keeper consulted her schedule. “You can go now,” she announced, “but make it fast.” Authors on a book tour are like prisoners of war, with better accommodations. Snowstorms made my flight to Minneapolis five hours late. The waiting publicist, impatient at my delayed arrival, drove us at ninety miles an hour at one a.m. in her tiny car over icy roads through snow and sleet. No food seemed available at that hour in Minneapolis, and though the bellman claimed he turned on the heat in my room, it never worked. I piled all my clothes on the bed and huddled miserably beneath them. Exhausted, but too cold to sleep, I thought I was freezing to death. My only goal was to survive long enough to escape. The publicist arrived at dawn. Her first question was, “How can you live in Miami?” How? My toothpaste was frozen, it was too cold to take a shower, and she wondered how I could live in Miami. Little wonder that coming home brought tears to my eyes at the sight of soft pink and gray mists rising over the great swamp as we swept in over the Everglades.



JAMES GRIPPANDO All of those places in book tour land are black-and-white and pale by comparison to Miami’s vibrantly surreal movie tones. The only problem we writers have is that it is often difficult to write fiction in a city stranger than anything in our vivid imaginations. The temperature soars, the barometer drops, the full moon rises like a dusky silver dollar -- and all hell breaks loose, mayhem, mutilation and madness in graphic clarity. Sometimes I think that Florida, this lush gun-shaped peninsula, is the Twilight Zone. And that Rod Serling is Miami’s mayor. Fact or fiction? Life imitating art? Or art imitating life? In Miami, all that glitters isn’t gold. Beneath the glitz you will find moral rot, always a splendid dramatic device. Miamians are tough. We have to be, alone at the bottom of the map in a town full of thieves, liars, con men and killers caught up in a uneasy mix of international intrigue, religion and superstition. The whole damn state is a disaster theme park. We’ve survived epidemics, killer storms, floods, and the perfect storm that elevated us to number one – in homicide – as the Mariel boatlift, the cocaine wars, and the McDuffie riot converged. We’ve been through a lot and who knows what lies ahead as we teeter between drought and deluge, fires and floods.

As a character of mine once noted, “like a hurricane tracking chart, a gun is something you hope you will never have to use. But if you live in Miami, you can be damn well sure that you will need them both someday. It is a fact of life.” Everyone is intrigued by mysteries and crime. It touches us all. We are all fascinated by evil. We all yearn for resolution. Our system rarely provides it. Even if a crime is solved, even if there is an arrest and if – after court date after court date and deposition after deposition – there should be a conviction, it never really ends. No one can ever reach the last page.


A Miami writer’s best friend: plentiful and efficient, the Florida alligator’s indiscriminate diet includes both super models and hardened criminals.

Real life can be grim, unlike mystery fiction where writers can wrap up the loose ends, solve the mysteries and, best of all, write the last chapter, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve – so unlike real-life. What joy there is in reading and writing mysteries! More truth can be told in fiction than in real life. The writer can

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 51

COURTESY random house


CAROLINA GARCIA-AGULERA address society’s problems, mirror the community, inform as well as entertain, expose wrongs and injustices and create characters who vent his or her own private outrage. Fictional authorities can be endowed with actual dedication, intelligence and common sense.

The Port of MIami: narcotics to weapons, welcome to the criminal mastermind’s supermarket.

The genre is an escape, a sanctuary, in an increasingly chaotic world. Readers assume the role of detective, sharpening deductive skills, and honing their talents for problem and puzzle solving. Mystery aficionados love logic and seeing the strands spun out of an original premise weave together satisfyingly at the end. The writer has even more fun. We provide the only world in which our readers are certain to find swift and sure justice – or any real justice. We all need endings and it is a joy, as novelists, to be able to give them to readers, and to ourselves. Who says there’s no justice? I knew I was a writer when I was four years old. The puzzles that always attracted me were missing people never found, why no one seems to miss the unidentified bodies in the morgue, and what really happened to all those

52 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

SCAT > Carl Hiaasen Available 1/29/2009

CARL HIAASEN victims of unsolved murders? Writing fiction is what I am supposed to be doing. It validates my life. Miami’s Book Fair International has been a major annual event in my life for 24 years, just as Miami is always a main character in my work. I knew I was a writer, but it takes more than that. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, I grew up like a displaced person, without prospects. But the moment I arrived here, the hotblooded pulse of this city ignited a spark and the words began to flow like a river. What better place to be a writer? Stories swarm around us, in the sea and the wind, in our DNA, in our cellular memories. Decades ago a national magazine article described Miami as paradise lost. The writer asserted that violence had somehow spoiled this wonderful playground. Wrong. What was to spoil? Miami is just being itself, repeating history, over and over. The rum runners in fast boats pursued up the Miami River by federal agents became the drug runners in fast boats pursued up the Miami River by federal agents... Or take jail overcrowding, a chronic problem. An early police chief was accused of controlling the situation


EDNA BUCHANAN photo jim varga

by leaving the jailhouse door ajar and waiting outside in the bushes, with a double barreled shotgun. Acquitted by a Miami jury, he won back his job. Too many guns on the street these days? An Italian anarchist once bought a pistol in downtown Miami and tried to assassinate FDR in Bayfront Park. A feisty housewife lunged at the gunman’s arm, spoiled his aim, and the shots went wild. One fatally wounded Chicago’s mayor. We have always had political scandals and leaders who lie. They are our legacy. Miami has always been the last stop for sun seeking drifters and people on the run. And, of course, they bring their troubles with them, all their blues, baggage, and private demons. They always have, always will. Strolling Lincoln Road, mingling with the tourists, are foreign fugitives, schemers and dreamers, con men and visionaries, heroes and villains, some of them familiar faces on America’s Most Wanted.

The Super Rich: From Versace’s murder to the never-solved murder of Don Aronow, death always seem to befall the rich and powerful.

Edna Buchanan is a Pulitzer-prize winning, former Miami Herald police reporter and the author of seventeen novels and numerous short stories. Winner of the prestigious George Polk Career Award and twice nominated for an Edgar Award, Buchanan is best known for her popular crime series starring Britt Montero, a half-Cuban, all-cynical Miami crime reporter. Her most recent book is Legally Dead: A Novel, the first book in a new series that introduces Michael Venturi, a tough-talking ex-U.S. Marshall and special operative in the Marines who is on the trail of a child killer. Buchanan lives in Miami.

Paradise has always had its dark side. That’s why we love it. >MBFI

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 53

by Sue Corbett


IS A STAR courtesy





(or how the children’s author became a celebrity.)

Boxcar Children was originally created by American writer and first grade school teacher, Gertrude Chandler Warner in 1942. Today, the popular children’s book series includes over 100 titles.

On Saturday mornings when I was a kid, my sister and I got dropped off at the South Farmingdale branch of our public library, where I made a beeline for the Ws, at the far reaches of the children’s reading room. Each week, hope fluttered in my Voracious Reader’s heart that there, on the bottom row of the last stack below the big windows, wedged between Walsh and Wilder, I would find a new episode in my favorite series, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

54 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

COURTESY Penguin Young Readers Group

Lloyd Chudley Alexander, who passed away in 2007 wrote more than 40 books. His fantasy novels are hugely popular with children and young adolescents. He was also one of the creators of children’s literary magazine Cricket.

Jan Brett is one of the nation’s foremost author illustrator of children’s books. In 2008 her “Gingerbread Friends” bus toured the US visiting bookstores from Washington DC to Oshkosh Wisconsin.

Alas, by about the third grade, my wishes went unmet week after week. By then I had read, and re-read, every installment my library ever intended to shelve. Much later I realized that, at the time I was reading her books, Mrs. Warner was well into her ninth decade on Earth, presumably retired from writing. Sigh. But I wonder now: From where did this fervent desire for a new book spring? It wasn’t like I knew anything about writers or publishing or how book production worked. In my Long Island neighborhood, we had accountants, plumbers, teachers, dads amorphously designated as “businessmen,” but no writers. No one suggested writing was a career – and here’s the big difference between then and now – no one EVER came to career day proclaiming the virtues of The Writing Life. School visits

by authors, longtime publishing executive Mimi Kayden told me, didn’t really take off until the late 1970s, when I was in high school. “Lloyd Alexander told me one of the first school visits he ever did he was greeted by the principal who said, ‘I thought you were dead,’” Kayden recalled. (Alexander reportedly replied: “Give me a little time.”) This resonates with me. I had authors on a pedestal equivalent to Greek gods. I’d have been just as floored to see Gertrude Chandler Warner in my school auditorium as to find Zeus in the cafeteria autographing thunderbolts. Flash forward to a contemporary child’s experience. They are much savvier about how books come into the world. The most popular books – usually numbers two and three in the hot trilogy of the moment – become bestsellers months, even years, before they are released. (Occasionally, before they are actually written! All you need

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 55


Artemis Fowl is a series of fantasy novels written by Irish author Eoin Colfer. The central character is a teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II. There are six novels in the series.

10th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The book was originally titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

is a title to act as a placeholder for a preorder sale these days.) If not exactly on a first-name basis with their favorite author, kids know reams of personal information about them from Web sites, chat boards, and blogs. Podcasts bring creators to their audience.


Jan Brett travels the countryside with artwork from her latest picture book painted on a bus the size of a barn. Eoin Colfer promoted the latest volume in his best-selling Artemis Fowl series with a multi-media, one-man show that played in concert halls and velvet-curtained theaters. How did we get from the assumption that most writers are, if not dead then certainly closeted in some garret scribbling away, to the expectation that books should come with a personal inscription?

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter is by far the most successful book franchise in history. As of June 2008, the seven book series has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 67 languages.

Well, I think you have to start with book fairs. Book fairs and school visits, orchestrated by booksellers or educators who understood the powerful alchemy that can occur when you mix writers and readers in the correct combination, humanized the Author and, in so doing, made our connection to him or her far deeper.

56 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Authors have, of course, been touring since Dickens, who came to America in 1842 and wrote home complaining about mobs: “I can do nothing that I want to do, go nowhere

where I want to go, and see nothing that I want to see. If I turn into the street, I am followed by a multitude.” (Meg Cabot and Judy Blume probably have the same problem in Key West these days.) Mark Twain, destitute, took to the lecture circuit to promote his then unsold book about his travels in Hawaii (known in his day as the Sandwich Islands.) Instead of promising the curtain would rise at a certain time, the posters advertising Twain’s appearances read: “The trouble to begin at 8 o’clock.” Precisely the wording that should accompany publicity for any event which includes Dave Barry!

But, with few exceptions, people who write for children did not tour in the 19th or most of the 20th Century. School visits became popular, in part, because of the “captive audience” nature of them. With more women in the workforce than ever before, and kids’ schedules full to brimming with extra-curricular activities, a late-afternoon or early evening bookstore appearance is a non-starter for all but the highest profile authors. That was the situation anyway until: Harry Potter. The success of J.K. Rowling’s series literally reshaped the landscape of children’s publishing, lifting its profile to neverbefore heights, and unleashing a tsunami of interest that carried a lot of celebrities and big-name authors into what had been

children COURtesy hyperion

Published between 2003 and 2005, the Bartimaeus trilogy is a fantasy series by English born writer Jonathan Stroud.

a pretty quiet field. The response was so overwhelming, in fact, that although Rowling loved touring, she had to stop after the first three books because the average bookstore simply couldn’t handle the sheer numbers of fans. Her solution in later book releases were appearances at large venues, such as Carnegie Hall in New York. But her phenomenal success opened people’s eyes about demand. Say what you want about children spending too much time in front of the television/computer/video game console. The truth is that kids’ books have never been a hotter commodity. As children’s books became the most fashionable genre in publishing, opportunities for writers to appear at fairs and schools and bookstores flourished. Kids responded not with a ho-hum, what’s new attitude, but with enthusiasm so real that Janas Byrd, head of the Language Arts department at G.W. Carver Middle knew a scheduled visit by Jonathan Stroud, a littleknown English author of three books about a centuries-old genie, would cause a mini British invasion at her Coral Gables school. “He will be treated like a rock star here,” she predicted. He was. Is it just shrewd marketing? I don’t think so. As a writer, I get as much or more from the kids I meet at public appearances than they get from me. Writing for kids and talking to them about it has helped me distill not only what I do but why. I thought I was in this to tell funny stories. Instead, what I can

honestly share with kids is that reading is the key to everything else they will do and accomplish in their lives. Writing is so useful a tool that to forego mastery of it is about as risky as becoming a carpenter who refuses to use a hammer. Writing, at its most elemental, is thinking. Stories are they way we learn about each other and the world, how we practice being scared, how we process the unthinkable, how we nurture our imagination and our empathy. When a child finds one she loves, it’s totally understandable that she might, through force of her own will, try to wish another like it into existence. I regret never having thought to tell Mrs. Warner how much I loved her stories about the Alden kids; how I imagined myself as Violet some days, and Jessie, others. How I hoped against hope I had a rich grandfather in the wings somewhere who would swoop in and pay for the ice-skating lessons I wanted but my parents could not afford. Books outlive their authors, but whenever I get the chance to actually meet a person who’s created a world I loved spending time in, I take it. >MBFI

Sue Corbett began her journalism career at television stations in Missouri, South Carolina, and Florida, before becoming a writer at the Miami Herald. Since 1996, she’s been the Herald’s children’s book reviewer. She is also a regular contributor to Publishers Weekly and People magazines. Her first novel for young readers, 12 Again, was an International Reading Association Honor book and won the 2006 California Young Readers Medal. Her second novel, Free Baseball, is a 2006 Junior Library Guild selection and is a finalist for the Virginia Reader’s Choice award, Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Award, and the Rhode I s l a n d C h i l d r e n ’s Book Award.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 57


NOVIEMBRE 20 2 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 09 20



vendor opportunities:

58 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


Š 2008 Target Stores. The Bullseye Design, Target and the 5% Bullseye Design are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved. 728457

' 0  * 0  0  ' ( 5

When you shop at Target, we contribute 5% of our income to support education, social services, and the arts. Since 1946, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve supported communities in small and large ways, from helping local nonprofits to providing disaster relief. Today that 5% adds up to over $3 million a week. Doing good is easy when doing good is automatic. DO 5% GOOD. TARG ET.C OM /C OM M U N IT Y

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 59





Found in

Spanish Written by Daina Chaviano

Chinese Translated by Huichen Chiang

60 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

English Translated by Andrea Labinger

German Translated by Silke Kleemann

ελληνικά Français



Translation By Daína Chaviano (Translated by Juan Carlos Pérez-Duthie)

O n e a u t h o r ’ s j o u r n e y t o g iv e c u lt u r a l c o n t e x t u n iv e rs a l m e a n i n g

FRENCH Translated by Caroline Lepage

GREEK Translated by Crisa Bania

JAPANESE Translated by Takako Shirakawa

Portuguese/Brazilian Translated by Maria Alzira

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 61



or many writers, their job is done when they hand in their book to an agent or a publishing house. Even most authors who are about to be translated are not concerned about the fate of their texts. That is not my case. I imagine the anguish one must feel when looking for a word or a concept that does not appear in any dictionary and for which there is no reference. When that happens, the translator has no other choice but to make up or interpret the text his way. Personally, I don’t like that to happen to my novels. I can spend weeks trying to decide what to do with an adjective or a comma, and in no way do I want that effort to be wasted. I always try to collaborate with my translators, but it has been difficult because publishing houses are not used to having a writer getting involved in the translation of his or her own book. Some years ago, when my novel El hombre, la hembra y el hambre was translated into the Czech language, I tried in every way to get in touch with the translator. It is a novel that is filled with specific cultural references, impossible to understand if one is not Cuban. I was never able to communicate with her. The result was that, when the Czech edition came into my hands, I quickly discovered the translation had problems.


The first word I found in the first paragraph was “kamaráde” (comrade, associate). In Spanish, the novel began with the word “compadre” (buddy, dude). The translation of this simple word changed, from the beginning, the relationship between the two masculine protagonists. If the translator had been in touch with me, I would have been able to explain to her the word’s meaning, which she most likely was not able to find in any Spanish-Czech dictionary. The German translation of that same novel was almost left in the hands of fate. A week before the translator was due to hand it in, she was given my e-mail address. She sent me a list of questions, but she made it clear that these were not all. I answered them at once, but I suspect that a lot of gaps remained in her translation. From then on, I asked my agent to include a clause in the contracts, requesting that I be put in touch with the translator. But I always have to remind the editors of this clause, since they seem to skip it. In the case of La isla de los amores infinitos, my collaboration with the translators has been a months-long affair, almost as if I had been writing another novel. As I write these lines, the novel has been translated into 23 languages. The contracts for the first 16 languages came like in a series, one after another, throughout a three-month period. I realized that my life was going

62 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


to become insane. How would I be able to answer the questions that would be sent by so many translators? That’s when I came up with the idea of preparing a general document that would be of use to all of them. I had to put together a list of words, phrases and concepts that they would obviously not be able to find in the dictionaries. Some things were very difficult to explain with words. But since I would be sending the documents by email, it occurred to me to use images, and thus I utilized Google. I also included many links to Wikipedia, which was especially useful for subjects related to flora and fauna. Usually, I searched for the name of the tree or the plant in Spanish. On the left-hand side of any Wikipedia page, however, there’s always a list of the languages in which one can find the translation of a particular term. That’s how I solved the problem. I would simply put the pertaining link to the Wikipedia page in Spanish and, from that page, each translator could then look in his or her own language. If a page in a translator’s language did not exist, it would generally be available in English (a language most of them handle) or in another one known to them, since translators usually know more than one language. There hasn’t been a single translator who has not benefited from this system.

When sending these documents I have always made it clear to the translators that if they have any doubts, they should consult me. They all have had their own questions, generally few, but interesting. The Swedish translator, for example, wanted to know if a grandmother I had mentioned was on the mother’s side or on the father’s. In Swedish, two different words meaning “grandmother” are used, according to whether she is from a maternal or a paternal line of the family. With the Japanese translator, I learned that there are three ways of writing in Japanese: kanji, hiragana and katakana. Foreign names are always used in the katakana fashion. That’s how I found out that my name would appear in the katakana way on the Japanese edition’s book cover. The Hebrew translator needed to be sure if, at a moment when I referred to the “partner” of a woman, I was referring to a same-sex partner or not because, as she explained to me, in Hebrew it is necessary to be specific about that. Had I not been available to answer that question, she would’ve altered the original meaning. With Huichen, my Chinese translator, the problem was the transcription of the Cantonese words that I had used in the novel. The Chinese who speak the language pronounce the


same characters in different ways, depending on the region in which they live. The problem is compounded when two languages like Mandarin and Cantonese confront each other. Luckily, I had the help of a CubanChinese friend, a descendant of Cantonese speakers, who had been my advisor on the Chinese part of the novel and who helped me explain to Huichen (who translated into complex Chinese) that the transcription of those words in Cantonese spoken by Cuban-Chinese was correct.

Daína Chaviano was born in Havana (Cuba) and has lived in Miami since 1991. In her native country, she published several science fiction and fantasy books, becoming the most renowned and best-selling author in those genres in Cuban literature. She has been equally successful as a writer of fantasy/SF and in mainstream literature, winning various awards in both fields.

For her part, the German translator was very impressed with these documents and with my way of organizing them (which, coming from a German, I took as a great compliment). She was so enthusiastic with my method that she asked me to support a campaign that her country’s Union of Literary Translators was carrying out. For the most part, it has been an interesting process, although I confess, somewhat crazy. To participate in the translation of my own work into languages whose alphabets I cannot even read is not precisely the experience I was looking for as an author. But I hope that the results benefit the readers who, definitely, are the objective of any act of literary creation. And translating, no doubt, is one. >MBFI


Her most recent novel, The Island of Eternal Love has been translated to 23 languages, becoming the most translated Cuban novel of all time. This work, originally published in Spain, was awarded the Gold Medal in the category of Best Spanish Language Book during the Florida Book Awards 2006. The English version (June 2008, Riverhead Books-Penguin Group) will be presented at the 25th Miami Book Fair International.


A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 63

64 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008



Performing Arts The passionate, elegant beats of jazz music and a multimedia dance extravaganza are all part of the 2008-2009 Cultura del Lobo Performing Arts Series, with a full spectrum of performances that explore Hispanic, Hawaiian and Middle Eastern culture and traditions. Visit

Literature Autumn in Miami means books at Miami Book Fair International, November 9-16, 2008. Brought to you by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at MDC, this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schedule of workshops, lectures and readings features Gore Vidal, Joyce Carol Oates, Junot DĂ­az, Nikki Giovanni, Art Spiegelman and other literary figures. Visit

Visual Arts From up-and-coming talents to established masters such as Salvador DalĂ­, Miami Dade Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art galleries bring you the best from the art world in their 2008-2009 line-up, which highlights themes from environmental awareness to the place of politics in contemporary art and culture. E-mail

Theater Miami Dade Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vast theatrical offerings can entertain you for an evening or engage you in a lifetime of creative expression. From student musicals and plays to Teatro Prometeo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with the mission of preserving Hispanic culture through theater â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the theater scene at Miami Dade College has never been more enticing.

Film Join Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s year-round cultural force for film â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Miami International Film Festival. Now in its 26th year, MIFF will offer 10 days of the best in international cinema, special events and parties from March 6-15, 2009. Visit


A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 65

66 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

by Joanne Hyppolite photos by Juan Carlos Ariano


the Hyphen Three generations of HaitianAmerican writers take different paths to assimilation Growing up, I used to divide the Haitian-Americans I knew into three distinct categories. There were those who had been born here, or like me, had been transplanted relatively young and therefore had two feet (metaphorically speaking) planted in the United States. Others came as teens and benefited from having spent their formative years in Haiti by having one foot still planted there and the other one quickly taking root in the United States (which yes, could be as painful as it sounds). Finally, there were those who arrived when they were older and who, in my mind, would forever have left both their feet in Haiti, no matter how many years they lived here. It was easy for me to tell the difference between these groups. Those of the first order ranged from being barely functional to fluent in Haitian Creole. In my own family of three siblings, our acquisition of Creole decreased in measures that seemed determined by how old and therefore how distant we were from time actually spent on Haitian soil -- so that my older brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Creole was near perfect, mine was functional and my little sister, who had been born three years after me and actually in the United States, was limited at best. Though our facility with Creole varied individually, no accents belied our origins. Nor did we experience the exile of English learning centers or ESOL classes.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 67

We could fly below the radar of publicly being identified as Haitian if we chose, and negotiated the hyphen between Haitian and American culture with the expertise of United Nations translators. And though we could never get away from our French-sounding first and last names (there was no hiding the other worldliness of a name like Dominique Belizaire or Martine Hyppolite), we were assimilated. More or less. Those who came as teens, like the three cousins I worshipped growing up, spoke Creole fluently and, if they had gone to school, French with sophistication. They carried themselves in a manner that wasn’t quite fully American, no matter how they dressed. They seemed to listen more than they talked, absorbing much of their new world through studied observation. They burrowed against the cold of Boston or New York until desegregation made Miami became the favored port of settlement, savored the hotdogs that were their first introduction to American food and struggled to dispense with the lack of feminine and masculine pronouns which were part of both French and Creole grammar and so doubly reinforced. La voiture. Tab la. For some of them, particularly in the first few years, negotiating the hyphen felt like traversing the terrifying length of a tightrope.

The term dyaspora calls attention to the allimportant break or disconnection created by our individual and collective departures and loss of a certain authenticity.

NYPL Digital Gallery

Finally, there were those who had come when they were older, like my parents, and who seemed to have set about the business of simply recreating Haiti in the United States. They mastered English enough to find and maintain employment and bargain for lower than set prices at the local convenience store (a skill my mother plied so convincingly she often could convince the shop owners to lower their prices, if only to make her go) but the majority of the time spoke Creole or French. They found ways to have imported the ingredients and news magazines they couldn’t obtain at local supermarkets, and socialized almost exclusively with others of this category. Regardless of whether they had officially attained citizenship here or not, I could never think of them as anything but Haitians living in America. They could have cared less about assimilating, thumbed their noses at the hyphen. As strictly divided as these categories of Haitian-Americans were for me as a child, as an adult I have come to focus more on the similarities in our experiences and presence in the United States than on the differences that separate us. I owe this, in large part to the extensive body of literature published by the Haitian-American writers in all three of these groups. That literature (for those not familiar with it) exists in a variety of genres that include autobiographies such as Jean-Robert Cadet’s Restavec and Rose Marie Toussaint’s Never Question the Miracle, children’s books such as Denize Lauture’s Running the Road to ABC, Jaira Placide’s Fresh Girl and Marie Ketsia Theodore Pharel’s A Fish called Tanga. There is also fiction published originally not just in English but in Creole and French, such as Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker, Maude Heurtelou’s La Fanmi Bonplezi and Fabienne Joshaphat’s Requiem Pour Anaise, compilations of folktales by Liliane Nerette Louis, Frantz “Kiki”

68 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Bonneville, François, fl. ca. 1787- Engraver Moi Egal à toi; [Portrait of a young Haitian woman.]


COURTESY Ballantine books

Wainwright and Maud Fontus and poetry, vast quantities of poetry and short stories in the writings of, among others, Danielle Georges, Patrick Sylvain, Marilene Phipps, Max Pierre, and Gina Ulysse. Among others, and others and others. These writings have been and are being produced by a generation of Haitian immigrants to the United States now nearly fifty years old and they have been teaching me and other readers for close to two decades now about the Haitian-American experience. I have learned through works and words of writers such as Maude Heurtelou who arrived here at age 33, Ketsia Theodore-Pharel who came when she was ten, and Jaira Placide who was born here, that one way members of all three groups are choosing to understand their experiences here is to write about it. The immigration experience itself is one of the most common subjects of literary exploration by Haitian-American writers, regardless of the age of arrival. While Lafanmi Bonplezi by Heurtelou immerses readers into the life of a Haitian family living in Miami and Fresh Girl by Placide investigates the weight of a painful secret held by a young protagonist named Mardi, both are framed against the struggles created by departures from Haiti and residence in the United States. Prolific writer Dany Laferriere, who began publishing while living in Canada and subsequently moved to Miami, aptly summarizes

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 69

70 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


I have learned from these writers that the choice of language and lure of remuneration is immaterial. The stories will out regardless of the publishing market or lack of royalties. For most of this generation of Haitian-American writers, this has meant choosing self-publishing as the vehicle of book birth – an option already familiar to them because it is

COURTESY Libraries Unlimited

This is the choice Mardi and the members of the Bonplezi family face, though in two very different ways -- whether to hold on to the past or push forward into new possibilities. The answers in these works and others such as Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory can be tragic or transformative, but whether one or the other, are also cathartic experiences for the reader and the writer.

COURTESY University of Texas Press

the appeal of this theme when he states, “Every human being finds himself one day or another with his destiny facing him. To be forced to leave your country is an exceptional situation. This accelerates this process. The person finds himself in an unknown country, with a new language, in an unknown environment and with no friends. Suddenly, his life is in his hands.”

Little Haiti Cultural Center opened its doors in 2008

similar to the publishing process in Haiti, which requires many authors to proactively market, distribute and print their works themselves. Self-publishing provides another important benefit for HaitianAmerican writers: It provides them with the freedom of choosing whatever language of creative expression they desire so that there are probably more poems, scripts and novels being written and/or published in French and Creole than in English here in the United States. Examples of these include the plays DPM Kante by Jan Mapou and Endependans by Bob Lapierre. Some Haitian-American writers such as Fabienne Jospahat and Max Pierre choose to write in several languages. “I write in English because I feel American,” explains poet Max Pierre after following up two collections of poetry published in French and with an entirely new one titled Soul Traveler in English. For Fabienne, who has published a novel in French and several short stories in English-language journals such as The Caribbean Writer, the choice is motivated by the story or characters themselves. Finally, I have learned that assimilation becomes inevitable for all of us. My friend Liliane Nerette Louis who as a child I would have relegated to the order of nose-thumbers, has made a career out of performing and writing about the traditional folktales of Haiti. Yet she readily admits that she has become an American, stating “It starts slowly, first with the vocabulary, then the conflict you feel between Haitian and American ways of thinking about things and then before you know it, you are of two minds and two places.”

the 1994 Marguerite DeAngeli prize for New Children’s Fiction, and Ola Shakes It Up. Her short stories have also been published in The Caribbean Writer and The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora. She holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Miami and an M.A. in Afro-American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. An experienced public speaker, she lectures widely at schools, libraries and conferences on AfricanAmerican and Caribbean culture and children’s literature. COURTESY Yearling


That assimilation is reflected in our common status as dyaspora – a term used in Haiti to apply to all Haitians who have left and no longer reside there. In Haiti, we are grouped together and singled out by this difference regardless of how old we were when we left. Though often used as a form of disparagement in Haiti, it calls attention to the all-important break or disconnection created by our individual and collective departures and loss of a certain authenticity. Referring to herself as just a Haitian writer is not a choice Ketsia Theodore Pharel feels she has, “The day you leave, you begin losing that perspective.”

Joanne Hyppolite has published two popular middle-grade novels for children: Seth and Samona, which won

Adopting the hyphen can feel like addition by subtraction, as if one body is not enough to hold both a full Haitian self, nor an entirely American self. But as the ranks of hyphenated Haitians and HaitianAmerican writers grow, there is a sense that the dyaspora are achieving an integrity of their own – one that is equal to both the place left behind and the one ahead.>MBFI

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 71



gh Lau

in g

Environmental writing at Miami Book Fair International


By Michael Hettich

t a the Gre

72 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008


It is becoming clearer every day that the defining question of our time has to do with the extent to which we humans will be capable of understanding and acting upon a relationship to the world that is not built on exploitation of natural systems and forms of life other than ours but is instead capable of building healthy interrelationships with that larger world — such that all life may thrive, at this moment and far into the future. The extent to which we are able to transform ourselves in response to this realization will have a direct impact on literally everything in the world, including consciousness at all levels, and even our experience of love. How fully we realize the urgency of response this question poses is contingent on two things: how deeply we realize the wildness and beauty of the world through direct experience, and how vividly our literature, a central means to this realization, brings such awareness to life. In fact, literature, in all its forms, is perhaps the most vital and primal means of connection we humans have — between body and mind, self and other, individual and society, past and present, human being and the larger world. The rich variety of the world around us is the basis of all language, and, by extension, of literature. True literature enters our blood as it engages our imaginations, and it allows us to vibrate — to sing — as more vividly living human beings. In its 25 year history, the Miami Book Fair International has presented countless moving readings by significant authors from all literary genres. For me, some of the most memorable experiences have occurred in the smaller venues — the Centre Gallery in particular — where lesser-known

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 73

writers such as Rick Campbell, Denise Duhamel, Lola Haskins and many others have read. I have also loved readings by Czeslaw Milosz, Robert Bly and Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Joanne Kyger, Anselm Hollo, Alice Munro, Mary Gordon — the list could go on for pages. As a writer, scholar of American literature, and long-term environmentalist, though, my single favorite Book Fair presentation occurred in 1992, when Gary Snyder, Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibben, William Kittredge and Sue Halpern, five of the strongest “environmental” writers of our time (or of any time) came together in the auditorium to read and answer questions.

Gary Snyder 1992

Each of these writers spoke with eloquence and urgency that night, and each conveyed a message of connection and commitment that we all in Miami needed to hear more of. We were challenged and engaged by each of the readings we heard that night. Something rare and fine and even synergistic was in the air, as it seemed that the work of each writer was given depth and perspective by its context in relationship to the other work that was read. Those of us who listened attentively — and there were many of us there — were changed profoundly, by song and vivid argument, honesty and transformed despair. These writers brought news we needed to hear, news that will stay news for many years to come. Though all five were powerful, three of them were, I think, particularly significant. Bill McKibben, whose 1989 book The End of Nature shocked and awakened a large segment of the population when it appeared in The New Yorker and later in book form, had just published his second book, The Age of Missing Information, which he read from that night. This work chronicles McKibben’s experience of watching a single day’s worth of programming on all ninety-three cable stations in Fairfax, Virginia, and compares that experience to 24 hours atop an Adirondack mountain, watching insects and vultures, climbing trees, and swimming in a mountain pond. In comparing these experiences, McKibben challenged the notion that we live in an “age of information,” asserting that in most truly important ways exactly the opposite is true; instead we live at a moment of deep ignorance. “We believe we live in the ‘age of information,’” McKibben asserted that night. “We also live in a moment of deep ignorance, when vital knowledge that humans have always possessed about who we are and where we live seems beyond reach. An Unenlightenment. An age of missing information.”

Terry Tempest Williams 1992

There is perhaps no writer as deeply versed in the information most of us are missing than Gary Snyder, who is without question one of the most significant American poets of the last half-century, a writer who has contributed as significantly to the rise of an ecological consciousness as anyone. His reading that night, from poems collected in No Nature, brought the spirit of the wild mind into the room, the attention to intuition and ancient intelligence such a mind requires. He challenged all of us to embrace and to live in relationship with our bioregion: “Ah to be alive/on a midSeptember morn/fording a stream/barefoot, pants rolled up/holding boots, pack on/sunshine, ice in shallows…” Terry Tempest Williams has made a lasting contribution to the canon of the environmental witness, a small group that includes Rachel Carson and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, among

74 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

others. Williams read that evening from Refuge, the complex and beautifully-realized interweaving of “history and family and place” that recounts her mother’s death from cancer — likely the result of her exposure to the fallout from atomic bomb tests in the 1950s — at a time when the Great Salt Lake was rising to unprecedented heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the many birds there. This book, harrowing in its depiction of personal, cultural, family and natural loss and in Williams’ ability to connect these things, extends the genres of both memoir and environmental writing. It connected profoundly with what the other writers were saying that evening.

Michael Hettich’s long association

Although I had known the facts, the information, presented by each of these writers before I heard them that night, the content they expressed in their various works opened my mind and heart in new ways, and I left the auditorium a slightly different person than I had been when I entered.

with the Miami Book Fair has included

A similar experience occurred in 1991, when Peter Matthiessen came to read from his just-published Killing Mr. Watson, with its richly-textured depiction of the Florida Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands at the turn of the 20th century. This book, and his reading from it, prompted me to look more closely at our subtropical ecosystem and to think with greater wonder about its natural and man-made history.

in Our Midst” pre-fair reading series.

But it was Matthiessen’s informal presentation to a group of students the next day that was most moving and memorable for me. Prompted by student questions, he talked of living in relationship with the actual world, of the power we all have as individuals to honor and engage with that world; and he talked about the vast wilderness we still have here in Florida — a wilderness that most of our students, sadly, had little awareness of. His talk was as inspirational as it was practical, as he enjoined our students to live actively and with full respect for the world -- non-human as well as human -- and thus to make the most of their lives. The positive impact such experiences have on our students (and on us) is so large it can hardly be measured

Wolfson Campus.

reading from his own books, introducing authors, and coordinating the “Write

His most recent books are Swimmer Dreams and Flock and Shadow: New and Selected Poems. He teaches English and Creative Writing at MDC,

One of the functions of literature is to challenge paradigms, to suggest and enact new ways of seeing and feeling. The “environmental” writers who have visited the Miami Book Fair — a group that includes Barry Lopez, Elizabeth Kolbert, Michael Grunwald, and Totch Brown — have done just that. This year Peter Matthiessen is returning, as is Terry Tempest Williams. Rick Bass and Diane Wilson, among many others, will visit for the first time. Go to their readings. Read their books. Their news is urgent. It just might change your life. >MBFI

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 75

CULTURAL M iami Book Fair International celebrates its 25th anniversary, and South Florida’s performing and fine arts community have joined hands to salute the Fair. More than 35 organizations dedicate performances and exhibits from October 10, every week, through the end of November. DIASPORA VIBE CULTURAL ARTS INCUBATOR Stitches in Time by Erman

ART CENTER / SOUTH FLORIDA ‘Just then Mischief made its way outside….’

Opening: Sat., Oct., 25, 7 - 10 pm Exhibit runs Oct. 24 – Nov. 23 305-674-8278 Curated by Jacquenette Arnette this annual showcase features the newest artists in residence. The theme is based on a proprietary, unedited novel resulting in a stream of consciousness narrative across the gallery.


Nov. 14 – Dec 14, Tues – Thurs., 6 - 8 pm, Sat., 10 am - 1 pm 305-237-3711 Exploring the erotic image can be a dangerous and foreboding undertaking for a group of of diverse Latin American women artists such as W-10. The resulting works are as varied as the group and representative of creative and daring journeys into personal experiences.


Oct. 19 – Nov. 30 305-573-4949 Special celebration of 9th Art – the art of the comic strip, the graphic novel, book illustration, animation, cartoons, manga – the link between visual art and narration.

Oct. 9 – Nov. 18 Please call for exhibit hours 305-573-4046 This fictionalized setting is fragmented, leaving room for interpretation while using multiples to express references to thematic concentrations such as “family.” Words, which have been integral in Erman’s works, continue to use text as texture, adding layers to the viewing experience.

MIAMI ART MUSEUM Mixed Media Marvels

305-375-3000 Sat., Oct. 11, 1 - 4 pm Everyone is invited to the Miami Art Museum where Second Saturdays are Free for Families, with gallery tours, learning activities and a program of art stories.

Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space


Runs through Nov. 22, Tues. – Fri. 11 am – 7 pm, Sat. 10 am – 5 pm 305-445-2783 The exhibition examines the contemporary use of text as art and looks at how language is used to augment the artist’s message and the viewer’s interpretation. Exhibiting artists: Blanca Caraballo, Daniel Garcia, Sergio Garcia, MANO, Aurora Molina, Adrian Morales, George Rodez and Luis Enrique Torres.


Sat., Oct. 11, 7 pm Durant Gallery 786-315-1210 Proyecto Setra presents Beatriz Caraballo and Judith Ghashghaie in a mixed media art exhibit. Lidia Caraballo, Alejadra Ferrazza and others read poetry and short stories simultaneously.

Oct. 16 – Jan. 25, Tues. - Fri., 10 am - 5 pm, Sat. - Sun. noon - 5 pm Each film tells a story. The artist’s video From the East (D’Est) gives visual form to the poem “Requiem: 1935-1940” by the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova.

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE GALLERIES Sequential Art – In the Spirit of Eisner Nov. 9 – Dec. 19 please call for exhibit hours Centre Gallery, Wolfson Campus 305-237-7186 A select group of 25 renowned artists will create 25 art works inspired in the spirit of Will Eisner’s legendary practice of graphic story-telling as homage to the 25 years of MBFI.

opens his studio for an exhibit of Susan S. Bank’s photography, accompanied by the presentation of her first book, a poetic portrait of an out-of-the-way agricultural community in Pinar del Rio Province.


305-237-3456 A collaboration between the Florida Center for the Literary Arts and Miami International Film Festival stemming from the book all of Miami is reading this fall, The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mafhouz, and the intent to foster an awareness of Egyptian culture as part of The Big Read program.

Schedule of the Egyptian Film Series (please call or visit the website for locations) Tues., Oct. 7, 7 pm

PEDRO PORTAL PHOTOGRAPHY Miami, Lost Images A series of photographs inspired by Miami and Cuba: Campo Adentro by Susan S. Bank

Fri., Nov. 14 - 15, 8 pm Featuring the Music of Alfred Triff’s Trio on Sat. 786-287-7134 Miami’s photographer Pedro Portal

76 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Umm Kulthumm, directed by Michal Goldmann and narrated by Omar Sharif Wed., Oct. 8, 7 pm

El callejon de los Milagros, directed by Jorge Fons based on Mahfouz novel Midaq Alley Tues., Oct. 14, 7 pm

Principio y fin, directed by Arturo Ripstein and based on a screen play by Naguib Mahfouz. Mon., Oct., 20, 7 pm

Adrift on the Nile, directed by

FRINGES RHYTHM FOUNDATION Juan Carlos Formell: Johnny’s Dream Club

Hussein Kamal with screenplay by Naguib Mahfuz. Thurs., Oct., 23, 7 pm

The Yacoubian Building directed by Marwan Hamad adapted from the best-selling Novel by Alaa Al Aswany.

Thurs., Nov. 13, 8 pm Manuel Artime Theater 305-672-5202 Cuban guitarist and lyrycists Juan Carlos Formell returned from New Orleans with a masterpiece, bringing together top NYC Latin jazz with New Orleans’ distinct sounds.

Tues., Oct., 28, 7 pm

Wed., Nov., 5, 8:30 pm

Chased by the Dogs (El less wal Kilab) directed by Kamal El Sheiken, based on Naguib Mahfuz’s novel The Thief and the Dogs. MIAMI DADE COLLEGE TOWER THEATER & SOCIETA DANTE ALIGHIERI IN MIAMI 305-642-1264 Italian Cinema Series featuring films based on books adapted for the screen Fri., Oct. 17, 9 pm

Il postino (The Postman) (1994) Sat., Oct. 18, 8 pm



Chased by the Dogs (El less wal Kilab) directed by Kamal El Sheiken, based on Naguib Mahfuz’s Novel The Thief and the Dogs.

Sun., Nov. 2, 4 pm Ransom – Everglades School 305-668-9260 Alhambra Orchestra presents UM’s Bergonzi String Quartet. The program features Rienzi which is based on the novel The Last of the Roman Tribunes.


Sat., Oct. 25, 8 pm 305-444-9293 1776 is a vividly passionate and often humorous drama about the events that sealed America’s birth as a nation and forever changed the course of history.

ANDREA ASKOWITZ Reading from My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy

CENTER FOR EMERGING ART Music Map of the World

Sat., Oct. 18 and Sun., Oct. 19, 2 pm Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts 305-538-2803 Music Map of the World, a concert featuring famous composers from seven continents.

Thurs., Oct. 16, 6:30 pm MGLCC Networker, 8 pm Performance Books & Books 305-573-4000 Andrea Askowitz will be performing stories from her book, My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy.Additionally, three performers enact stories with a gay/lesbian theme.

Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice) (1971) Sun., Oct. 19, 8 pm

Cristo si e’ fermato a Eboli (Christ stopped at Eboli) (1979) New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra


Sat., Nov. 15, 7 pm Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts 305-854-7890 Violetta is the most desired and captivating courtesan in the seductive Parisian demi-monde. You’ll be intoxicated by Verdi’s gorgeous music and by this new spectacular production directed by Bliss Hebert and designed by Allen Charles Klein.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 77

CITY THEATRE’S SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL The Festival Series at Books & Books

Tues., Oct. 28, 7 pm Books & Books 305-755-9401 The series gives audience members an opportunity to be among the first to hear and discuss plays under production consideration – and be part of the play development process.

CUENTEROS & COMPANY Noche de Cuentos de Autores Locales (A Night of Storytelling by Local Authors)

CULTURA DEL LOBO Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary


Fri., Nov. 14 and Sat., Nov. 15, 8 pm, Sun., Nov. 16, 3 pm William & Joan Lehman Theater at MDC North Campus 305-237-3010 In a solo theatrical tour de force, protean performer Marissa Chibas tells an astonishing tale centered on three towering figures in her life.


Thurs., Oct. 23, 8 pm 305-244-6926 Casa Panza A storytelling event during which Cuenteros & Company’s, Humberto Vega, Gina Sacasa-Ross and Luis Lopez will tell their original stories, adapted for oral narration. This event 20621.Miamiis in Book Fair ad.qxp:Layout 2 10/3/08 Spanish.

11:27 AM


Oct. 24 – Nov. 22, Thurs. – Sat. 8 pm 305-576-6480

Page 1

78 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

NEW THEATRE The Rant by Andrew Case (World Premiere)

Sept. 25 – Oct. 26, Thurs. – Sat. 8 pm, Sun. 1 pm 305-443-5909 One crime, four points of view; the truth itself is a kind of bias. The investigator assigned to the case must wade through prejudice, deceit, and a volley of anonymous threats to find out where culpability really lies.


Oct. 18 – Nov. 16, Thurs.- Sat. 8 pm, Sun. 2 pm & 7 pm* The Biltmore 305-445-1119 Set in the Oval Office just days before a presidential election, this hilarious new play by David Mamet involves civil marriages, gambling casinos, lesbians, American Indians, presidential libraries, questionable pardons and campaign contributions.

Oct. 16 – Nov. 9, Fri. and Sat. 8:30 pm, Sun. 5:30 pm 305-324-1300 This play in two acts, an adaptation by Roberto Antinoo based upon the original manuscript by Bram Stoker, features the fantasy and illusion surrounding vampires, particularly, the life of Count Dracula.

Mixtape is a collection of short plays, many written by South Florida writers, that are inspired by music.


PLAYGROUND THEATRE Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Nov. 6 - Dec 18, Sat. & Sun., 3 pm 305-751-9550 Time, space and cultures collide in this new adaptation of the classic English fairly tale. Join Alice as she tackles the challenges of her everchanging world.

PROMETEO Picnic on the Battlefield by Fernando Arrabal – in Spanish

Nov. 9, Sun 7:30 – Nov. 10 – 13, 8:00 pm Prometeo Theatre 305-237-3262 Arrabal’s antiwar satire contrasts the horrors of war with a cheerful family picnic. A soldier in the trenches is surprised by his parents coming out on to the battlefield to dine with him.

THE ROXY THEATRE GROUP An adaptation of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast Fri., Oct. 10, 4 pm 305-226-0030 This adaptation tells the through songs and dance.


ARTS AT ST. JOHN Plants without Borders

Wed., Oct. 22, 10 am - Noon 305-613-2325 Plants Without Borders is a participatory workshop in which people of diverse cultures are invited to share plant stories, plant-art, poems, writings, photos of arts, or actual plants.

CENTRO CULTURAL ESPAÑOL AND BAQUIANA LITERARY JOURNAL Launching of the IX Edition of Baquiana Literary Journal

Fri., Oct. 24, 8 pm 305-448.9677 Baquiana Literary Journal celebrates its ninth consecutive edition at El Centro Cultural Español. There will be poetry, theatrical and narrative readings by the Caribbean, Spanish-speaking authors featured in the journal.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 79


Thurs., Oct. 16, 6 - 8 pm 305-673-7256 A reading and discussion with local author and historian Howard Kleinberg. His books include: Miami Beach: A History, Woggles and Cheese Holes, Miami: The Way We Were and others.

South Beach Chamber Ensemble Concert

Thurs., Oct. 16, 8 pm The South Beach Chamber Ensemble opens its concert series with a performance of string quartets by Mozart (Austria) and Ginastera (Argentina).

THE WOLFSONIAN - FIU 305-531-1001

Public Talk:Thoughts on Democracy: Managing Perceptions through Images and words

Book Club: Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939 by Wolfgang Schivelbusch (2007)

Fri., Nov. 7, 7 pm The Wolfsonian-FIU A groundbreaking work that investigates Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in the 1930s and contrasts them to programs of the regimes of Mussolini and Hitler.

Display of Rare Library Materials Entitled: New Deal Americana from the Wolfsonian Library

Ends Sun., Nov. 16 Mon/Tues. noon – 6 pm Thurs./Fri. noon – 9 pm, Sat., noon – 6 pm Sun., noon – 5 pm The Wolfsonian-FIU This display of books, pamphlets, and ephemera explores ways in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs were packaged and promoted, as well as how critics presented persuasive arguments against them.

Sat., Oct. 25, 1-5 pm The Margulies Warehouse Propaganda can inspire and propaganda can deceive — truths made particularly relevant for Americans by the current heated election campaign. Join experts in the field for a forum on propaganda.

Inauguration: A Performing Arts Salute To The Miami Book Fair International Opera, ballet, theatre, poetry, modern dance and a symphony orchestra magically mingle to celebrate Miami Book Fair International’s 25th Anniversary. This artistic exravaganza will feature a host of exciting performances on Saturday, November 8, with a champagne toast at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. performance (complimentary tickets required for admission). The contributing artists include:





WLRN TV Channel 17

FLORIDA GRAND OPERA Elizabeth Caballero interprets Verdi’s famous “Sempre Libre” aria.



“25 Years of Miami Book Fair International”

This in-depth documentary showcases the authors--and volunteers, board members and staff--that have made the Fair one of South Florida’s most beloved cultural events. And the catalyst for South Florida’s two-decade long arts explosion.


305-237-3135 The NWSA Symphony Orchestra, Alfred Gershfeld,Conductor will perform Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich.

UNITY ON THE BAY CHOIR 305-573-9191 Unity on the Bay will perform a gospel inspirational selection accompanied by the NWSA Symphony Orchestra.

305-259-9775 The pleasures of Nous Sommes derive from its technical demands: what informs this romantic duet is its anatomy. This signature ballet features spectacular lifts, partnering from the floor and off-balance promenades and wrap-arounds.


305-858-7002 This is an abstract, high energy dance, on the theme of repression. It is danced by six dancers and includes large group, solo and small group sequences.

80 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008 Hightlight from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which will be presented as part of the theatre’s Season in March 2009.

GABLESTAGE The Poet’s Voice, a dramatic poetry reading presented by the company’s cast especially commissioned for the inaugural evening of MBFI’s 25th Anniversary.



Miami Book Fair International

on your

25 Anniversary. th

Thank you for your support of Downtown Miami where arts, education and culture thrive.


Hunton & Williams LLP and its Author Circle supporters are pleased to support the Miami International Book Fair Hunton & Williams LLP 1111 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2500 Miami, Florida 33131 (305) 810-2500 Atlanta • Austin • Bangkok • Beijing • Brussels • Charlotte • Dallas • Houston • London • Los Angeles McLean • Miami • New York • Norfolk • Raleigh • Richmond • San Francisco • Singapore • Washington

During the Week > Sunday November 9

AN EVENING WITH TAVIS SMILEY AND CORNEL WEST 7:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) As America approaches new economic, social and spiritual crossroads, the next chapter of our nation’s epic story is about to be written. Can Americans muster the courage for critical self-examination? Join us as award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author, Tavis Smiley, and Cornel West, one of America’s most provocative intellectuals, challenge us to contemplate such questions. Cornel West, educator and philosopher, changed the course of America’s dialogue on race and justice with his contemporary classic Race Matters. His newest book, Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom (SmileyBooks, $19.95) challenges those in search of deep wells of inspiration and new possibilities that marry the mind to the heart. West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He is the recipient of an American Book Award and more than 20 honorary degrees.

Cornel West

Tavis Smiley is an award-winning television and radio broadcaster and the New York Times bestselling author of What I Know for Sure: My Story Growing Up in America. In his new book, Accountable: Making the Covenant Real (Atria Books, $24.95), Smiley challenges America to set a new standard for those who lead and those who follow. Set to be released in 2009, the book is the third installment of the bestselling The Covenant series. The first two books concerned how ordinary people in Black America are taking control of their lives and communities. Accountable lays out the steps for how you can do the same. Written with Stephanie Robinson. Free tickets are required for admission.

AND IN SPANISH... 3:00 p.m., Batten (Bldg. 1, room 2106)

An homage to Cuban author José Lezama Lima with various authors and editor William Navarrete.

José José


4:00 p.m., Auditorium (Bldg. 1, 2nd Floor)

Mexican popular singer José José and Colombian Grammy Award-winning composer and producer, Kike Santander, present their autobiographies.

6:00 p.m., Auditorium (Bldg. 1, 2nd Floor)

INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE Join our international hosts as they open their countries’ pavilions to showcase their literature, culture and traditions. Sample typical foods and enjoy live entertainment.

(N.E. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue) 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The last 25 years in Latin American Literature with panelists Marcos Aguinis, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza and Juan Manuel Cao.

Apuleyo Mendoza


PROMETEO THEATRE COMMEMORATES MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY Performed nightly, Sun. 7:30 p.m., Mon.– Fri. 8:00 p.m. Prometeo Theatre (Bldg. 1, 1st Floor). Prometeo Theatre presents Picnic on the Battlefield, an early absurdist work by Spain’s Fernando Arrabal, author of eleven novels, more than a hundred plays and six movies. Arrabal’s antiwar satire contrasts the horrors of war with an idyllic family picnic. Arrabal founded the Panic Movement in 1963 and counts among his honors the Nadal Prize in

1982, the Great TheaterPrize of the French Academy, the Nabokov Prize, the Espasa of Essay Prize and the World’s Theater Prize. Admission: $10. In Spanish with English Supertitles.

Art Exhibit: Celebrating Will Eisner’s Work and Life Opens in Centre Gallery. 82 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

During the Week > Monday November 10

AN EVENING WITH DAVID SHEFF 8:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) David Sheff was a successful journalist when his bright, athletic son Nic, started using drugs. In the blink of an eye, casual experimentation became a horrific addiction to methamphetamines. Nic became a feral creature capable of stealing money from his own eight-year-old brother. Sheff — along with his new wife and two younger children — was plunged into a nightmare world of anger, fear, self-blame and helplessness. Sheff turned to his profession to cope, using his investigative skills to find out what he was up against and writing in painful detail about his experiences in an attempt to learn and ultimately, heal. A story he wrote for the New York Times Magazine became a book, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction (Houghton Mifflin, $24).

AND IN SPANISH... 6:00 p.m., Room 3208/09 (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

Argentinian journalist and historian Daniel Balmaceda.

7:00 p.m. Batten (Bldg. 2, Room 2106) Argentinian author Pablo De Santis.

8:00 p.m. Batten (Bldg. 2, Room 2106)

Renowned Argentinian novelist and essayist Marcos Aguinis.

Sheff, who has written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired and Fortune, is also the author of Game Over, China Dawn and All We Are Saying. Nic Sheff, now 25 and two yearsclean, also wrote a book about those terrible years, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines. Free tickets are required for admission.

De Santis


INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE (N.E. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue) 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Before you go to the evening’s literary programs, come by the International Village for a special reception hosted by the day’s featured countries: Monday, Argentina and Tuesday, Spain.

During the Week > Tuesday November 11

AN EVENING WITH DR. BRIAN GREEN 8:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Physicist Brian Greene is one of the world’s best known researchers of the string theory of the universe, which posits the existence of many more dimensions than we can perceive. A professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, Greene has made a number of groundbreaking discoveries in string theory and authored The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos. In Icarus at the Edge of Time (Knopf, $19.95), Greene has woven these scientific insights into a futuristic re-imaining of the Icarus myth – a boy travels through space to challenge the awesome myth of a black hole. At this event, Professor Greene will discuss his new book as well as the importance of storytelling in science while providing a visual tour through the history and cutting edge thinking about black hole physics. The book features breathtaking full-color images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

AND IN SPANISH... 6:00 p.m. Batten, (Bldg. 2, Room 2106)

A selection of Cuban writers: José Lorenzo Fuentes, José Abreu and Raúl Chao.

8:00 p.m. Room 3208/09 (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

Nicaraguan poet Rubi Arana and renowned Nicaraguan author Sergio Ramírez.

Free tickets are required for admission.



A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 83

During the Week > Wednesday November 12

A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND WORK OF WILL EISNER 6:00 p.m., Centre Gallery (Bldg. 1, 3rd Floor) Will Eisner is a true pioneer in creating the world of comics as we know it. From his legendary work in the 1940s on The Spirit, to his groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God, in 1978, and his posthumously published graphic novel, The Plot, in 2005, Eisner’s work and passion for this literary format continues to shape contemporary pop culture. Please join us for an exceptional evening featuring an exhibit of Eisner’s original artwork, a multimedia exhibit based upon The Plot, and artworks inspired by Eisner’s graphic storytelling. A panel discussion about Eisner’s life and work will take place in the gallery, followed by a screening of the award-winning documentary, Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist, in the Auditorium (Bldg.1, 2nd Floor). On the panel: Eisner’s editor on The Plot, Bob Weil, vice president and executive editor at W.W. Norton & Company, agents Denis Kitchen and Judy Hansen, and author and comics artist Scott McCloud. The panel will be moderated by Charles Kochman, executive editor of Abrams ComicArts and editor of The Will Eisner Companion.



AND IN SPANISH… 6:00 p.m., Room 3208/09 (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

7:00 p.m., Batten (Bldg. 2, Room 2106)

Spanish journalist and award-winning novelist Gregorio León and Cuban humorist, actor, composer and writer Mario Barros.

Author, musician and auteur Nat Chediak converses with Miriam Gómez, wife and long-time partner of renowned Cuban author Guillermo Cabrera Infante.

8:00 p.m., Room 3208/09 (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

Readings by José Díaz-Díaz, César Lacayo, Mariadilia Martinéz, and Jorge A. Pérez-Pérez.

AN EVENING WITH ISHMAEL BEAH 8:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) During the civil war in Sierra Leone, thirteen-year old Ishmael Beah became one of thousands of children forced into ragtag, ultra-violent army units. For three years, he traveled the countryside with other drug-doped boy soldiers, killing, by his recall, “too many people to count.” His harrowing experience is the center of his deeply moving memoir, A Long Way Gone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12). Eventually rescued by UNICEF and relocated to a rehabilitation center, Beah made his way to the U.S where he went on to graduate from Oberlin College. He is a member of Human Rights Children’s Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations. Free tickets are required for admission.


84 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE (N.E. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue) 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Before you go to the evening’s literary programs, come by the International Village for a special reception hosted by theday’s featured country: South Africa.

2008 Parking Organization of the Year

International Parking Institute

mpa-bookfair-4x5.125-r1.indd 1

8/27/08 10:59:25 AM

During the Week > Thursday November 13

AN EVENING WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN AND MARIO BATALI 6:00 p.m., Auditorium (Bldg. 1, Room 1261) Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain are among the handful of chef authors who could truly be called Renaissance men. Both world travelers with television shows popular as much for their hosts’ cheeky personalities as their cooking, the pair top the list of any gourmand’s favorite dinner table guests. You’ll get a little of that experience tonight, as Batali and Bourdain sit down for a wide-ranging discussion of food and life. Mario Batali co-wrote A Culinary Road Trip to Spain (Ecco, $34.95) with actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Beginning this fall on PBS, the book comes to life as “Spain… On the Road Again” starring Batali, Paltrow, food writer Mark Bittman and actress Claudia Bassols. Anthony Bourdain is as irreverent, opinionated and entertaining as always in The Nasty Bits (Bloomsbury, $14.95), his book of essays derived in part from his popular television travelogue series, “No Reservations.” Bourdain is the author of seven books, including Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour.



Free tickets are required for admission.



7:00 p.m. 3208/09 (Bldg. 1, 1st Floor)

8:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 1, 2nd floor)

8:00 p.m. Batten (Bldg. 2, Room 2106)

Gore Vidal — fearless, willing to experiment, willing to explore in literature, life and politics, is widely considered the greatest English language essayist of the 20th Century. Vidal has authored more than 20 novels, five plays, many screenplays, hundreds of essays and a memoir.

Cuban author and playwright Manuel Reguera Saumell presents his novel, La noche era joven y nosotros tan hermosos.

Renowned Cuban author and journalist Carlos Alberto Montaner presents his most recent essay La batalla de ideas.

His latest book is The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal (Doubleday, $27.95), a collection of 21 essays selected from the 114 previously compiled in his award-winning book, United States: Essays 1952-1992, plus three recent essays. Appearing at the Miami Book Fair for the first time, Vidal will bring his wit, wisdom and sardonic charm to Miami in a year of seminal change for America. Now in the ninth decade of life, he’s still feisty in his observations, expressing outrage at what he sees as an erosion of constitutional liberty in America. For Vidal, speaking up is an American right, and his calling card. As he once said, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.”

Reguera Saumell


Free tickets are required for admission.


INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE Before you go to the evening’s literary programs, come by the International Village for a special reception for this evening’s featured country: Brazil.

(N.E. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue) 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

86 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Spend a few hours with a Hollywood legend?

Don’t Mind If I Do

“Charming...hilarious.” —Vanity Fair

“He is smarter, edgier, and sexier than one might expect. And he lives to entertain you!” —Liz Smith, New York Post

“Flashy and funny, with flamboyance to burn, just like Hamilton.” —Kirkus Reviews

Available wherever books are sold.

Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Masterpiece is complete


NOV â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08



 #SJDLFMM"WFOVF .JBNJGMXXXJDPOCSJDLFMMDPN Oral representation cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. For correct representations should be made to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of offers to buy, the condominium units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices, features, and specifications subject to change without notice.

During the Week > Friday November 14


With Russell Banks, Irakli Kakabadze, Helge Lunde, Sarah Mkhonza, Wole Soyinka, And Derek Walcott 6:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Writing is a perilous act in many places throughout the world, for those who dare question authority. Cities of Refuge North America is dedicated to saving persecuted writers around the globe by cultivating safe havens for them in North America. The organization, established in 2003 by acclaimed authors Russell Banks, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka and Richard Wiley has thus far relocated nine threatened writers to American cities. Russell Banks is the author of nineteen works of literature, includingthe new collection of essays, Dreaming Up America (SevenStories Press, $21.95). He has won numerous literary prizes. Heserves on the executive board of Cities of Refuge North America. Irakli Kakabadze is a leading Georgian writer forced into exile in 2007. He is a founding member of a human rights advocacy organization in Georgia, where he was imprisoned numerous times for expressing his views. Next year he will begin teaching in Cornell University’s Peace Studies Program.







Helge Lunde is the executive director of International Cities of Refuge Network, which has more than 20 member cities in Europe and beyond. For many years he has worked to help persecuted writers, as director of the Kapittel Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech in Norway, and as manager of Stavanger’s City of Refuge program. Sarah Mkhonza was forced to leave Swaziland in 2003 following government reaction to her newspaper columns critical of the government’s repressive policies against women. She is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian poet, playwright, novelist and essayist, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. He has authored more than 40 works of literature, including The Man Died: Prison Notes, in which he recounts his time as a political prisoner in his native country. Soyinka has been an outspoken critic of political tyrannies worldwide. He serves on the executive board of Cities of Refuge North America. Derek Walcott won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. A native of St. Lucia, he is the author of more than 40 plays and collections of poetry, including Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25), which spans 50 years of work. Walcott also garnered a MacArthur Foundation “genius“ award, among others. He serves on the executive board of Cities of Refuge North America. Free tickets are required for admission.

INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE Before you go to the evening’s literary programs, come by the International Village for a special reception hosted by the day’s featured pavillions: Francophone and Egypt.

(N.E. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue)6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 89

90 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

During the Week > Friday November 14

AN EVENING WITH BILLY COLLINS, ROBERT HASS AND MARK STRAND 8:00 p.m., Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Three former U.S. Poet Laureates gather to discuss life and poetry. Billy Collins’ stunning new collection, Ballistics: Poems (Random House, $24) finds truth in small details. At once moving and playful, the poems tackle a variety of subjects, from love to death, youth and aging. Collins, a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York. He is the author of eight collections of poetry and editor of two poetry collections. Robert Hass examines the human impact on the planet at century’s end in a nine-part verse-essay that appears in Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (Ecco, $22.95), his first book in ten years. Biography, memory, and war are also Hass examined with a light touch that tugs on the heart in a Collins collection described by some critics as “sublime.” Hass, who teaches at the University of California, is a MacArthur Fellow and two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.


Mark Strand, is the author of ten books of poems, including Blizzard of One, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Among his honors are the Bollingen Prize, the Edgar Allen Poe Prize, and a Rockefeller Foundation award, as well as fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He is a former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He currently teaches at Columbia University. Free tickets are required for admission.

AND IN SPANISH... 7:00 p.m., Batten (Bldg. 2, Room 2106)

Cuban author and professor Alberto Muller presents Retos del periodismo.

8:00 p.m., Auditorium (Bldg. 1, 2nd Floor)

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the most widely read contemporary Spanish author in the world. He presents his latest wildly successful book, El Juego del Ángel.


Ruiz Zafón

STUDENT LITERARY ENCOUNTERS Miami-Dade County students enjoyseveral dynamic and inspiring educationalevents during Miami Book Fair International.On Friday, Nov. 14, students visit the Fair and attend readings by author who come to Miami just for them. This year, Ishmael Beah reveals his harrowing experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone to high school students. Cristina Garcia discusses dealing with life changes in a crazy, multicultural world with middle school students. Jon Scieszka, the

first NationalAmbassador for Young People’s Literature, offers “Stinky Cheese” and other weird and wonderful delights for the consideration of elementary schoolchildren. During the week, authors of children’sbooks visit elementary, middle,and secondary school classrooms throughout the county, where they engage students with readings and activities. Student Literary Encounters are presented in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Authors in College Classrooms

Every year, Miami Book Fair International sends stacks of books to students in classes throughout Miami Dade College, then sends in the authors to discuss – and sometimes defend – their works. This year, Book Fair authors visiting college classes include: Alex Baladi, Gene Baur, Ishmael Beah, Helen Tse, and Derek Walcott.

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 91


11 AM

10 AM

(Bldg 1, 2nd Fl., Rm 1261)


10:00 a.m. John Dufresne on Requiem,Mass, James W. Hall on Hell’s Bay and Dennis Lehane on The Given Day: A Novel

Fernando Arrabal, in person, introduced by Zoe Valdes (In Spanish)

11:30 a.m. Francine Prose on Goldengrove: A Novel, Joyce Carol Oates on My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike: A Novel, and Patrick McGrath on Trauma: A Novel

11:00 a.m. Daína Chaviano on The Island of Eternal Love and Nilo Cruz on Anna in the Tropics : A Reading

12:30 p.m. Sindiwe Magona on Beauty’s Gift, Cyril Dabydeen on Drums of My Flesh and Dennis O’Driscoll on Reality Check: New Poems

NOVEMBER 9 - 16, 2008





(Bldg 1, 3rd Fl., Rm 1365)

(Bldg 2, 1st Fl., Rm 2106)

(Bldg 3, 2nd Fl., Rm 3210)

(Bldg 3, 2nd Fl.)

Presentations in Portuguese (with simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish).

10:00 a.m. Sue Halpern on Can’t Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research and Martha Weinman Lear on Where Did I Leave My Glasses? The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss

10:00 a.m. Naomi Klein on The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

10:00 a.m. Fabulous Food Sheila Lukins on Ten: All the Foods We Love and Ten Perfect Recipes for Each and Steven Raichlen on The Barbecue Bible: 10th Anniversary Edition

11:10 a.m. Authors Silviano Santiago and João Almino read from their works, followed by discussion moderated by Professor Steven Butterman, University of Miami.

11:30 a.m. Charles Johnson and Robert Adelman on Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Civil Rights Struggle

11:45 a.m. Art Spiegelman on Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist As A Young %@&*!

11:30 a.m. What’s Happened to Our Fish?, Mark Kurlansky, The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester in Conversation With Dr. Elizabeth A. Babcock, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

11:00 a.m. Encuentro con Laura Restrepo

12:15 p.m. Acclaimed author Nélida Piñon reads from her books and discusses her nearly 50 years of writing.

12:30 p.m. Honor Moore on The Bishop’s Daughter and David Rieff on Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir

12:30 p.m. Andrei Codrescu on Jealous Witness: New Poems, and Robert Olen Butler on Intercourse: Stories - A Reading

12:00 p.m. Nueva novel cubana Abilio Estévez and Antonio Orlando Rodríguez

10:30 a.m. Professor Wander de Melo Miranda opens the Portuguese language program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Brazilian writer and Minas Gerais writer, João Guimarães Rosa.

(Bldg 3, 3rd Fl.) In Spanish




1 PM



1:00 p.m. Russell Banks on The Reserve, Scott Simon on Windy City: A Novel of Politics, and Alan Cheuse on To Catch the Lightning: A Novel of American Dreaming

1:00 p.m. Martha Stewart will sign books in the Atrium of Building 1

1:00 p.m. Dave Barry on History of the Millennium and master storyteller Frank McCourt

2:30 p.m. A Reading: Terry Tempest Williams on Finding Beauty in a Broken World, Campbell McGrath on Seven Notebooks, and Robert Clark on Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces

2:00 p.m. A Reading: Jill Bialosky on Intruder: Poems, Linda Pastan on Queen of a Rainy Country: Poems and Elizabeth Spires on The Wave-Maker: Poems

2:30 p.m. Contemporary Literature in Minas Gerais: Authors Luís Giffoni and Angelo Machado read from their books and discuss the state of modern Brazilian lit, moderated by Professor Leila da Costa, University of Miami.

2:00 p.m. Ridley Pearson on Killer View, Greg Iles on Third Degree: A Novel and Scott Turow on Limitations and Presumed Innocent

3:30 p.m. Phyllis Baker on A Dreamer’s Journey

3:15 p.m. Machado de Assis: Silviano Santiago celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Assis, “the Wizard of Cosme Velho” considered the greatest Brazilian writer.

3:30 p.m. Richard Belzer on I Am Not A Cop!, Dirk Wittenborn on Pharmakon, Larry Beinhart on Salvation Boulevard, and Alan Zweibel on Clothing Optional, and Other Ways to Read These Stories

3 PM

2 PM



4 PM

Williams 4:00 p.m. Sandra Cisneros on Caramelo and the forthcoming novel Infinito, Cristina Garcia on A Handbook To Luck, and Esmeralda Santiago on The Turkish Lover



Smith 2:45 p.m. PEN International Presents Something to Hide: Writers and Artists Against the Surveillance State with Billy Collins, Art Spiegelman, Carl Hiaasen, Francine Prose and Esmeralda Santiago

2:00 p.m. Susan Isaacs on Past Perfect: A Novel, April Smith on Judas Horse: An FBI Special Agent Ana Gray Mystery, and Doug Stumpf on Confessions of a Wall Street Shoeshine Boy: A Novel


92 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

2:30 p.m. A viva voz Carmen Hernández, Mayra Montero and Pedro Cabiya.

3:30 p.m. Lauren Groff on The Monsters of Templeton, Nancy Horan on Loving Frank: A Novel, and Rachel Kushner on Telex from Cuba: A Novel

Isaacs 4:30 p.m. Susan Saint Sing on The Wonder Crew: The Untold Story of a Coach, Navy Rowing, and Olympic Immortality and Shaun Tomson on Bustin’ Down the Door: The Surf Revolution of ‘75

5:00 p.m. Jorge Edwards on La casa dedostoiesky (In Spanish)


1:15 p.m. Poesía viva Rita Geada and Carlos Pintado

4:00 p.m. Jane Mayer on The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War On Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian on Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians and Jonathan Mahler on The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power



5:45 p.m. Scott McClellan on What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception



WWW.MIAMIBOOKFAIR.COM | (305) 237-3314


10 AM

ROOM 3315

ROOM 3410

ROOM 7106/07 (Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

ROOM 7113


ROOM 7128


(Bldg 1, 3rd Fl.)

(Bldg 3, 4th Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

10:00 a.m. Rick Campbell on Dixmont, Lynn Aarti Chandhok on The View from Zero Bridge, Julia Levine on Ditch-Tender and Lisa Zimmerman on The Light at the Edge of Everything

10:00 a.m. Alex Daoud on the Sins of South Beach: The True Story of Corruption, Violence and the Making of Miami Beach

10:00 a.m. Jeffery Renard Allen on Holding Pattern: Stories, Nina Revoyr on The Age of Dreaming, Preston Allen on All or Nothing and Brenda Flanagan on Allah in the Islands

10:00 a.m. Carlos Moore on Pichón: A Memoir, Race and Revolution in Castro’s Cuba

10:30 a.m. Trinidad Noir with Lisa AllenAgostini, Willi Chen and Elizabeth Nunez


10:00 a.m. John Stauffer on Giants, The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and Vernon Burton on Age of Lincoln

11:30 a.m. A discussion on the the status of women as reflected in Naguib Mahfouz’s work with Dr. Marilyn Booth, professor, Arabic Literature, Dr. Amani Asfour, president, Egyptian Business Women and Michal Goldman, film director

11:00 a.m. Reihan Salam on Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream

11:30 a.m. Diane Wilson on How I Quit Loving a Blue-Eyed Jesus, Marie Brenner on Apples & Oranges: My Brother and Me, and Carol Ascher on Afterimages: A Family Memoir

11:00 a.m. Pablo Medina and Mark Statman on Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poet in New York: A Bilingual Edition

10:00 a.m. Deborah Sharp on Mama Does Time, N.M. Kelby on Murder at the Bad Girl’s Bar and Grill, Mitchell Graham on Majestic Descending and Heather Graham on the Deadly series

11 AM

Graham 11:30 a.m. Mystery Writers of America presents Edgar Award winners Megan Abbott on Queenpin, Susan Straight on The Golden Gopher from Los Angeles Noir, John Hart on Down River, and Katherine Marsh on The Night Tourist

11:30 a.m. Cuba in Black and White Anneke Wambaugh and Claire Garoutte on Crossing the Water: A Photographic Path to the Afro-Cuban Spirit World and Susan S. Bank on Cuba: Campo Adentro



2 PM

1 PM


12:00 p.m. Do Latinos Read? The Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club: with authors Esmeralda Santiago, Fabiola Santiago, and Stephanie Elizondo Griest along with editor Johanna Castillo and Las Comadres founder Nora de Hoyos Comstock

12:00 p.m. Cuban Memories Ruth Behar, Lucía Suárez and Richard Blanco on The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World

12:00 p.m. Journalism in the Caribbean Brian Meeks, Cynthia Barrow Giles, Andy Johnson and Selwyn Ryan Moderated by Dr. Roven Locke

1:30 p.m. Martha Frankel on A Family Love Affair with Gambling, David Henry Sterry on A True Story of Sex, Drugs, Roller Skates and Chippendales, and Andrea Askowitz on My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy

1:30 p.m. Caribbean Voices Carol Boyce Davies on Left of Karl Marx: the Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones and Harvey Neptune on Caliban and the Yankees: Trinidad and the United States Occupation

12:00 p.m. Student Literary Readings Winners of The League for Innovation in the Community College Creative Writing Contest and the Fred Shaw Poetry Contest plus student literary magazines


1:00 p.m. Cuban History: Madeline Cámara Betancourt on Cuban Women Writers: Imagining a Matria and Pedro V. Roig on The Elusive Quest for Freedom

1:00 p.m. Cintas Foundation presents Fellowship winners in music composition Armando Bayolo and literature Adrian Castro

1:30 p.m. Comix Galaxy Scott McCloud on Comics 2008

2:30 p.m. Florida History: Stetson Kennedy on Grits and Grunts: Folkloric Key West and Lloyd Miller on Biscayne National Park: It Almost Wasn’t

2:00 p.m. Mark Brown, M.D. on Conquer Back and Neck Pain: Walk It Off! A Spine Doctor’s Proven Solutions For Finding Relief Without Pills or Surgery

2:30 p.m. Comix Galaxy David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America in conversation about comics and American culture with Françoise Mouly, art director, The New Yorker

Wambaugh and Garoutte 1:00 p.m. James O. Born on Burn Zone, Tim Dorsey on The Atomic Lobster, Neil S. Plakcy on Mahu Fire, and Ian Vasquez on In the Heat

2:30 p.m. Cara Black on Murder in the Rue de Paradis, Leighton Gage on Blood of the Wicked, Clyde Ford on Precious Cargo and James Swain on Night Stalker

1:30 p.m. Blues and Americana music by Graham Wood Drout

2:00 p.m. Connie May Fowler on How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, Cassandra King on Queen of Broken Hearts, and Kristy Kiernan on Matters of Faith: A Novel

2:30 p.m. Miami Poets present Tere Starr, Jnita Wright, Barbara Weston, Gonny van den Broek, Cara Nusinov, Connie Goodman-Milone and Shaloma Shawmut- Lessner

3:30 p.m. Lilly Koppel on The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal and Sloane Crosley on I Was Told There’d Be Cake: Essays

3:30 p.m. The best of Brazilian music by Maguinha


3 PM

3:30 p.m. Words Matter: Mim Harrison, on Smart Words, Ammon Shea on Reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and Paul Yeager on Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

4 PM


3:00 p.m Diane McKinneyWhetstone on Trading Dreams at Midnight: A Novel and Ravi Howard on Like Trees, Walking

4:30 p.m. Florida Book Awards presents winners Tracy Akers on The Search for the Unnamed Ones, Cynthia Barnett on Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., Thomas Cavanagh on Head Games, and Adrian Fogelin on The Sorta Sisters

4:30 p.m. Norma I. Jarrett on The Sunday Brunch Diaries: A Novel and Bonnie Glover on Going Down South


4:00 p.m. Tim Brothers on Caribbean Landscapes: An Interpretive Atlas



3:00 p.m. Family Stories Carlos Frias on Take Me With You, Helen Tse on The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West and Lori L. Tharps on Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love and Spain 4:00 p.m. Comix Galaxy David Heatley on My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down, Ariel Schrag on Awkward, Definition, Potential and Likewise, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden on Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond

Jarrett 4:00 p.m. James Reese on The Dracula Dossier


4:30 p.m. Lip Service Allstars! 8 stories — 8 minutes each — all true. Co-produced by Andrea Askowitz and Esther Martinez. Readers include Jaquira Diaz, Andrea Askowitz, Joe Clifford, Esther Martinez, Nick Garnett, Judy Valdez, Rachael Aranoff and Manuel Martinez

5:00 p.m. Kenneth Rosen on Investing in Income Properties: The Big Six Formula for Achieving Wealth in Real Estate





A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 93


11 AM

10 AM

(Bldg 1, 2nd Fl.)


10:30 a.m. Peter Matthiessen on Shadow Country

10:30 a.m. Linda Corley on The Kennedy Family Album: Personal Photos of America’s First Family

11:30 a.m. Wally Lamb on The Hour I First Believed: A Novel

11:30 p.m. Beth Dunlop and Joanna Lombard on Great Houses of Florida

12:30 p.m. Michael Cunningham on Specimen Days, Andrew Sean Greer on The Story of a Marriage: A Novel and Elizabeth Strout on Olive Kitteridge

2:30 p.m. Queer Culture, Straight Culture: Assimilation and Identity in the 21st Century with Dudley Clendinen, Dr. Fred Fejes, and Nina Revoyr. Moderated by Robert Rosenberg

NOVEMBER 9 - 16, 2008

CENTRE GALLERY (Bldg 1, 3rd Fl., Rm 1365) 10:30 a.m. Comix Galaxy Mim Harrison on The Life Story of Sir Winston Churchill as Told Through Great Britain’s Eagle Comic, Ranen Omer-Sherman on The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches, and Dan Herman, Publisher and Editor, Hermes Press




(Bldg 2, 1st Fl., Rm 2106)

(Bldg 3, 2nd Fl., Rm 3210)

(Bldg 3, 2nd Fl.)

(Bldg 3, 3rd Fl.) In Spanish

10:30 a.m. Peter Greenberg on Don’t Go There! The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must–Miss Places of the World and Eric Weiner on The Geography of Bliss

10:00 a.m. George Hamilton on his memoir, Don’t Mind If I Do

10:30 a.m. Ron Arons on The Jews of Sing- Sing: Gotham Gangsters and Gonuvim, Harvey Frommer on Remember Yankee Stadium: An Oral and Narrative History of the House That Ruth Built, and Peter Golenbock on In the Country of Brooklyn

10:30 a.m. El futuro es hoy Wendy Guerra, Adriana Lisboa, Andrés Neuman, Eduardo Halfón, Guadalupe Nettel, Iván Thays and Junot Díaz

12:00 p.m. Marshall I. Goldman on Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia, and Andrei Cherny on The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour

12:45 p.m. Literatura laureada Eduardo Lago and Elmer Mendoza

11:00 a.m. The Art of Biography with Edmund White on Rimbaud, Nancy Milford and Stacy Schiff on Rose Kennedy and Cleopatria, Les Standiford on How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career & Revived Our Holiday Spirits, James Atlas, moderator


2 PM

12:00 p.m. Mia Kirshner on I Live Here

Diaz 12:30 p.m. Carl Hiaasen on The Downhill Lie, and Roy Blount Jr. on Alphabet Juice:The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof

1:00 p.m. Comix Galaxy Chip Kidd on Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan, and Brad Meltzer on The Book of Lies

1 PM


Hamilton 12:00 p.m. Comix Galaxy Frank Beddor on Hatter M, The Looking Glass Wars, Volume One and Régis Loisel and Mohamed Aouamri on La Quete de l’Oiseau du Temps


2:00 p.m. Junot Diaz on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: A Novel, Amitav Ghosh on Sea of Poppies and Austin C. Clarke on More: A Novel

2:00 p.m. John Rechy on About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir

2:00 p.m. Comix Galaxy Youme Landowne on Pitch Black, Alex Baladi on Frankenstein, Now and Forever, Stephanie McMillan on As the World Burns: 50 Things You Can Do To Stay in Denial, A Graphic Novel, and Ralph Penel Pierre on Malé Pandye

3:30 p.m. Stewart O’Nan on Songs for the Missing, David Wroblewski on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and Margot Livesey on The House on Fortune Street

3:00 p.m. David Leddick on The Male Nude: 21st Century Visions

3:30 p.m. Comix Galaxy Superheroes: The Secrets Behind the Masks: A panel discussion with Bill Rosemann, editor, Marvel Comics, Christos Gage, Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mike Perkins, Captain America, Stephen King’s The Stand, and Brian Reed, Ms. Marvel, Secret Invasion: Front Line

1:30 p.m. Hooman Majd on The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran, Heraldo Muñoz on The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet, and Michael Soussan on Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy

Blount Jr. 2:30 p.m. Michael Gates Gill on How Starbucks Saved My Life, Dudley Clendinen on Tales of the New Old Age in America, and Rick Bragg on The Prince of Frogtown

Del Risco

2:00 p.m. Senator Mel Martinez on A Sense of Belonging: From Castro’s Cuba to the U. S. Senate, One Man’s Pursuit of the American Dream

2:00 p.m. Ideas y actualidad Rafael Rojas and Enrique Del Risco

3 PM


3:00 p.m. Alonzo Mourning will sign books in the Atrium of Building 1

3:00 p.m. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. on Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out

3:00 p.m. Tom Hayden on Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader and Voices of the Chicago Eight: A Generation on Trial

3:15 p.m. Exposición latinoamericana Juan Carlos Botero, Mayra Montero and Pablo Simonetti

4:00 p.m. Dexter Filkins on The Forever War and Max Kennedy on Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her

4:00 p.m. Jeffery Deaver on The Bodies Left Behind, Edna Buchanan on Legally Dead, and James Grippando on Last Call

4:45 p.m. Zoé Valdés piensa en Cuba


4 PM

4:00 p.m. Peter Moruzzi on Havana Before Castro


Matthiessen 5:00 p.m. Panel on Politics: The New Socialism of the XXI Century (in Spanish)

4:30 p.m. Sister Souljah on Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

Hiaasen 5:00 p.m. Rabbi M. Gary Neuman on The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It

5:00 p.m. Comix Galaxy Yves Swolfs on Durango and Teddy Keser Mombrun on Alain Possible le roi farceurs

94 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

6:00 p.m. PEN World Voices presents Salman Rushdie, joined by Nathan Englander for a discussion about The Enchantress of Florence, memory, black magic, philosophy, religion and more.



WWW.MIAMIBOOKFAIR.COM | (305) 237-3314


10 AM

(Bldg 1, 3rd Fl.)

ROOM 3410

ROOM 7106/07

ROOM 7113

(Bldg 3, 4th Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

10:30 a.m. Alan L. Berger on Jewish Christian Dialogue: Drawing Honey from the Rock, and Mildred Nitzberg on I Chose Life: Biography of a Holocaust Survivor’s Search for Peace

10:30 a.m. William McKeen on Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson and Steven Watts on Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream

11 AM



11:45 a.m. Eduardo Peláez Permiso de salida


(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

(Bldg 7, 1st Fl.)

11:00 a.m. Steve Greenberg on Gadget Nation: A Journey Through the Eccentric World of Invention and Bob Kealing on Tupperware Unsealed: Brownie Wise, Earl Tupper, and the Home Party Pioneers

11:00 a.m. Lynn Kiele Bonasia on Some Assembly Required, Anjanette Delgado on The Heartbreak Pill, David Desmond on The Misadventures of Oliver Booth, and Irete Lazo on The Accidental Santera

11:00 a.m. Linda Gassenheimer on Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes, Nino Pernetti on Caffe Abbracci Cookbook, and Shirley Corriher on Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking

11:00 a.m. Brian Antoni on South Beach: The Novel, and Steven Gaines on Fool’s Paradise: Players, Poseurs, and the Culture of Excess in South Beach

12:30 p.m. Sharon Harvey Rosenberg on How to Live Well and Save Money, and Samantha Ettus on 100 Ways to Make Life More Efficient

12:30 p.m. Everyday Toxicities A discussion with Will Allen,The War on Bugs, Gene Baur, Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, Mark Schapiro, The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and moderator Michael Grunwald, TIME magazine and The Swamp

12:30 p.m. Michelle Bernstein on Fresh Tastes and a World of Flavors from Michy’s Miami Kitchen, Ingrid Hoffmann on A Collection of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist, and Andrew Carmellini on Urban Italian

12:30 p.m. Earth Ethics: Rick Bass on Why I Came West: A Memoir, and James Wohlpart and Peter Blaze Corcoran on A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to the Earth Charter


11:00 a.m Juan José Fernández El laberinto cubano. Las dos orillas

ROOM 7128


1 PM


Smith 12:30 p.m. Francisco Calderón Yagruma: Amores prohibidos en épocas de tiranía

12:00 p.m. Lili Bita on Women of Fire and Blood, and Peter Hargitai on Millie

12:00 p.m. Family Stories: Alyse Myers on Who Do You Think You Are? A Memoir, Philip Smith on Walking Through Walls: A Memoir, and Julie Klam on Please Excuse My Daughter

1:15 p.m. Idolidia Darias Escambray. La historia que el totalitarismo trató de sepultar

1:30 p.m. A Poetry Reading: C.M. Clark on The Blue Hour: Poems, Rita Maria Martinez on Jane-in-the- Box, and Emma Trelles on Little Spells

1:30 p.m. Joseph Olshan on The Conversion, and Maureen Freely on Enlightenment : A Reading

2:00 p.m. Linda Montaner Perla Zaydén, una mujer de éxito

2:30 p.m. Terri Witek on The Shipwreck Dress: Poems, Nin Andrews on Sleeping with Houdini: Poems, and Mia Leonin on Unraveling the Bed


1:00 p.m. Music by virtuosic and passionate guitar player Peter Betan.

3:30 p.m. Enrique Del Risco ¿Qué pensarán de nosotros en Japón?

4 PM

3 PM

2 PM


2:45 p.m. Enrique Córdoba Te espero en la fronter

3:30 p.m. Arabic Literature after Mahfouz with Dr. Marilyn Booth, Dr. Maha Kamel and moderated by Molly Thomas-Hicks

3:00 p.m. Frances de Pontes Peebles on The Seamstress: A Novel, Fabiola Santiago on Reclaiming Paris: A Novel, and Marisa de los Santos on Belong to Me: A Novel

4:30 p.m. The poems of Ricardo PauLlosa, Parable Hunter

4:30 p.m. Jennifer Baumgardner on Abortion & Life

12:00 p.m. Selections from Tigertail, A South Florida Poetry Annual, Brazil Issue, edited by Horacio Costa and Charles Perrone. As read by Richard Blanco and Michael Hettich


2:00 p.m. Dr. Max Manigat on CapHaitien Excursions dans le temps, and Maude Heurtelou and Féquière Vilsaint on Who’s Who in Haitian Diaspora

2:00 p.m. Graham Hill and Meaghan O’Neill on Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living and Michael Shellenberger on Breakthrough, From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility

2:00 p.m. Daniel P. Erikson on The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution

2:00 p.m. Jim Morin on Ambushed! A Cartoon History of the Bush Administration

2:00 p.m. Readings by Prime-Time Poets Marva McClean, Lucille Gang Shulklapper, Joyce Sweeney, Gretchen Fletcher and Kathy Macdonald.

3:30 p.m. Haitian Topics Josaphat-Robert Large on Partir sur un coursier de nuages and Rete ! Kote Lamèsi (In Creole and French) Jan J. Dominique on Memoir of an Amnesiac

3:30 p.m. Dr. Jerry B. Brown on Freedom from Mid-East Oil and Ronnie Greene on Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard’s Fight toSave Her Town

3:00 p.m. Christopher Kenneally and Keith Woods in conversation about how race is covered in the media

3:00 p.m. George Rodrigue on Blue Dog Speaks and Prints

3:00 p.m. Gulfstream literary magazine presents readings by Elisa Albo, Vicki Hendricks and David Norman.

4:30 p.m. Antonio de la Cova on The Moncada Attack: Birth of the Cuban Revolution

4:00 p.m. David Maraniss on Rome 1960, The Olympics That Changed the World

4:00 p.m. Music by write out pop! — songs of substance


Witek 5:00 p.m. Brad Matsen on Titanic’s Last Secrets, and Bryan Christy on The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers





A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 95

The Fair Is Going Authors who write about environmental issues have always been a welcome part of miami book Fair international, but only in the past few years has going “green” become an international trend. The fair is doing its part to make the world a cleaner, healthier place in 2008 by implementing several new “green” initiatives aimed at reducing the its impact on the environment. What we’re doing: • Recycling bins are stationed throughout the street fair, for both fairgoers and vendors. • The fairgoer’s guide and other promotional materials are printed on recycled paper. • We have asked food vendors to use paper products instead of single serving plastic plates and cups. Fabric table cloths are being used wherever possible, and the plastic table covers used at exhibitor tables will be recycled or disposed of responsibly. Also, the fair will be selling reusable tote bags to discourage the use of plastic bags. • The book fair and its sponsors will plant trees and purchase carbon offsets for author travel, electricity usage in the venues, and the generators employed on the street. The earth ethics institute (eei) of miami dade college assessed the fair’s environmental costs based on last year’s consumption. • Special programming and activities in the green planet at children’s alley will teach children to re-think, reduce, reuse and recycle. Adults are also invited to Learn more about the environment at workshops and panel discussions. What you can do: • • •

Purchase one of our reusable book totes, or bring one from home. Refill water bottles at fountains located around the campus instead of buying new. Educate yourself. Attend a panel or check out a “green” author.

We appreciate the support of the following organizations:

96 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

discussions Everyday Toxicities Sun., Nov. 16, 12:30 p.m., Room 7114


It’s all over the news: melamine in baby formula, mercury in makeup. Toys covered in lead-based paints. Plus, pesticide residues in our vegetables and cows injected with antibiotics. From our household products to our food supply, toxicity is on the rise. And illness is the result. Why are American companies willing to put us at risk? What is our government doing about this? And what can you do to protect your family and be the change you want to see in the world? Our panel will talk about their books and research, and discuss what can be done make the world safer. Will Allen, The War on Bugs Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary:Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. Mark Schapiro, The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. Moderator: Michael Grunwald, Senior Correspondent,TIME magazine and author of The Swamp


What’s Happened to Our Fish? Sat., Nov. 15, 11:30 a.m., Room 3208-09 Mark Kurlansky, The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America’s Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town. Kurlansky

In Conversation With Dr. Elizabeth A. Babcock, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)

Understanding the Earth Charter The Miami Book Fair International partnered with Miami Dade College’s Earth Ethics Institute to present a workshop on Friday, Nov. 14, for MDC faculty on the Earth Charter, an international declaration of principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society for the 21st century. For additional information, please call the Earth Ethics Institute at (305) 237-3796.

More Green Goodness at the Fair Authors and books on environmental issues, or who might appeal to Fairgoers interested in nature. Also, bring your children by Children’s Alley for the activities in the Green Planet. Rick Bass, Why I Came West: A Memoir Jerry B. Brown, Freedom From Mid-East Oil Brian Christy, The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers

Graham Hill and Meaghan O’Neill Ready, Set, Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, Breakthrough

Peter Blaze Corcoran and James Wohlpart, editors, A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to the Earth Charter

Stephanie McMillan, As the World Burns, 50 Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial - A Graphic Novel

Ronnie Greene, Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard’s Fight to Save Her Town

Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Robert Hass, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005

Diane Wilson, Holy Roller, Growing Up in the Church of Knock Down, Drag Out; or, How I Quit Loving a Blue-Eyed Jesus

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 97

98 | Miami Book Fair International : 25th Anniversary: 1984-2008

Love After Love The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s welcome, And say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

A Premier Program of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College | 99


Top Student: Alexandra Sampedro High School: Felix Varela GPA: 4.0 Major: Art/Art Education

Top students choose a top college.


Miami Book Fair  

Miami Book Fair Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you