November 2013, Volume 17, Number 4

COVERSTORY


Land of Literary Giants

For eight days each fall, Miami Dade College hosts some of the world’s most celebrated authors as hundreds of thousands of book lovers and hundreds of book vendors converge at Wolfson Campus for Miami Book Fair International, produced by The Center for Literature and Theatre @ MDC.

Hailed as the most important literary happening in America for providing meaningful literary encounters with authors and their works – in both English and Spanish – the Fair will feature nearly 500 authors in dozens of readings and events during its exciting run from Nov. 17-24.

“Miami Book Fair International is a cultural forerunner in our city,” said Alina Interián, executive director of MDCulture, which encompasses the College’s numerous artistic, performance and cultural endeavors. “When Miami began its cultural blossoming about 30 years ago, Miami Book Fair and Miami Dade College’s other cultural programs were creating cutting-edge, intellectually provocative programming. We’ve always been at the vanguard, and I am proud to say we will continue to lead as the 21st century progresses.”

In addition to the enthralling author events, fairgoers have the opportunity to peruse books at hundreds of vendor booths lining the streets around Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami. From fiction and biographies to poetry, children’s books, graphic novels and cultural commentary, the Fair offers something for every book lover, regardless of genre or age.

Engaging Evenings

With 30 years of history under its belt, it’s only natural that this year’s event opens with one of the bestselling authors of all time. International sensation Dan Brown will inaugurate the 2013 Fair at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Spend an evening with the writer dubbed by The Wall Street Journal as “the master of the intellectual cliffhanger” when Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, shares insights into his latest bestseller, Inferno.

Other esteemed writers taking the stage for the popular “Evenings With” series include novelists Pat Conroy and wife and author Cassandra King; Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back; MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis; novelists Erica Jong and Jennifer Weiner; and religious scholar Reza Aslan. Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston will close the weekday presentations.

Dozens more literary luminaries are scheduled to make appearances throughout the Fair, including bestselling authors Mitch Albom and Amy Tan; MSNBC news anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews; thriller writer and TV show creator Brad Meltzer; Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Junot Díaz and Mirta Ojito; 2013 MacArthur Fellow Karen Russell; essayist and poet Robert Pinsky; acclaimed playwright Nilo Cruz; children’s and young adult author Gordon Korman; actress Diane Ladd; journalist and crime mystery author Edna Buchanan; and 2013 Inaugural Poet and MDC alumnus Richard Blanco, among many others.

Spanish Literary Voices

A perennial highlight of Miami Book Fair International is the abundance of IberoAmerican authors in attendance. Among this year’s featured guests are Marcos Aguinis (Argentina); Gioconda Belli (Nicaragua); Rosa Montero (Spain); Cervantes Prize-winning novelist Jorge Edwards (Chile); Carmen Posadas (Uruguay/Spain); 2013 Alfaguara Novel Prize winner José Ovejero (Spain); and Jorge Eduardo Benavides (Perú).

The IberoAmerican presence will be even stronger this year with Spain as the focus of the Fair’s 2013 international pavilion. This popular exhibition space highlights the culture, literature, arts and rich heritage of a different country each year.

Delicious Addition

The Fair’s new “In the Kitchen” series returns this year with an exciting lineup of chef authors sharing their recipes, techniques and stories through enticing cookbooks and memoirs and also cooking demos and other food-related presentations at MDC’s acclaimed Miami Culinary Institute.

In the Kitchen has all the ingredients for a literary feast with presenters including Ingrid Hoffmann of FoodNetwork’s Simply Delicioso; former White House chef John Moeller; restaurateur and food personality Scott Conant; Michael Ruhlman, an author known for his book collaborations with some of America’s most distinguished chefs; and the College’s own James Beard Award-winning chef Norman Van Aken of Tuyo restaurant, just to name a few.

The Next Generation

Committed to instilling a love of reading in even the youngest of readers, the Fair also offers an abundance of programming for kids of all ages through its Generation Genius initiative, an interdisciplinary umbrella that ties reading, writing, storytelling, art-making, music, theater and other activities. More than 20,000 students will visit the Fair throughout the week, taking part in painting, musical and other learning activities and performances that all encourage reading.

“It is an immeasurable honor to be part of an event that has been creating community around a shared love of reading for the past three decades,” said Lissette Méndez, the Fair’s director of programs. “I am humbled when I travel to literary events all over the country and people share with me their admiration for this annual event at MDC.”

To learn more about all the amazing offerings at the 30th annual Miami Book Fair International, visit

www.miamibookfair.com

— AMS


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
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