February 2012, Volume 16, Number 1

Cultural Spotlight

Fair is Feast for Book Lovers

Fairgoers packed the streets on the opening day of Miami Book Fair International’s Street Fair, where they perused hundreds of publishers’ booths and enjoyed literary events at MDC's Wolfson Campus.

Author readings delighted thousands of schoolchildren from public and private schools who visited the Fair. Throughout its eight-day run, hundreds of thousands of book lovers flocked to author presentations and panel discussions in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Chinese.

The Fair, which just celebrated its 28th year, is an unparalleled celebration of books and reading. Renowned novelist Tom Wolfe has referred to it as a “mecca” for book lovers.

Nearly 3,000 children turned out to meet Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, who autographed stacks of books for more than five hours nonstop.

Audiences lined up for author discussions by renowned writers, including Rosanne Cash, Dr. Paul Farmer, Ron Suskind and Touré.

On Sunday, more than 800 fairgoers saw filmmaker Michael Moore, who read from his memoir, Here Comes Trouble. “This ‘big bang’ ending was fitting, since the seven days that came before were just as fantastic in terms of content and turnout,” said Alina Interián, executive director of The Center for Literature and Theater at MDC, which produces the Fair.

This year, the Fair’s International Pavilion, which featured China, expanded everyone’s cultural horizons. The IberoAmerican program filled the house with many diverse events, including an online conversation conducted via Skype with dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, a series of discussions between cutting-edge writers from Spain and their counterparts in Latin America, and readings by novelists, ranging from Jaime Bayly and Edmundo Paz Soldán to María Dueñas, Javier Sierra and Esmeralda Santiago,among many other world-renowned writers.

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