Big Names, Rising Stars

Walk the streets of Miami Book Fair International.

Miami Book Fair International is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the first 10 months of the year, you already know the literary luminaries are coming out in numbers. Many of the fair’s celebrities have been visiting our shores for the past quarter-century, and quite a few cite good ol’ cofounder and indie bookstore owner Mitchell Kaplan as the man who gave them an annual platform for their efforts. We’d like to assume you’re a well-read sort (you’re reading New Times, right?), so you’ve probably already set your cell phone calendar to see the likes of Nikki Giovanni, Junot Díaz, Dennis Lehane, and Scott McClellan this Saturday at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. But you shouldn’t head for just the big names. First, those events are probably going to be packed to the gills, and second, if you make time for only the celebrities, you’ll certainly miss out on some up-and-coming talent in the literary world. Isn’t it better to say “I saw so-and-so at their first reading, and there were seven people there” than “I am totally on the Pulitzer Prize-winning bandwagon”? Exactly. Bust out that BlackBerry and make a date with these authors.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud — who knows of what he writes — will read from his book Sins of South Beach at 10 a.m. in Room 3410. And Sloane Crosley — whose witty, dark I Was Told There'd Be Cake is supposed to be the next big thing — will read at 3:30 in Room 7128. The obscure-author fun will continue Sunday: Bryan Christy is bound to tell crazy stories from The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers at 5 p.m. in Room 7128. And Peter Moruzzi’s Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground is a lush, fantastic photographic homage to the Cuba of yore; he’ll share his story Sunday at 4 p.m. in Room 1101. Between readings, don’t forget to wander over to the International Pavilion, where there’ll be film, musical, dance, and cultural performances at the fest’s World Stage. For more authorly info, visit www.miamibookfair.com.
Nov. 9-16, 2008

 
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