Miami Book Fair: Novelist Ben Greenman
fresh out of Yale when he was hired to write for the Miami New Times in 1990. The Palmettto Senior High alum joined a rabble
rousing crew of writers who included Greg Baker, Jim Defede, Sean Rowe and
Steve Almond. They were the ones who laid the foundation for the alt weekly's
"It was the wild, wild west in those days,"
Greenman notes. "The paper gave us a lot of license to do creative
Greenman certainly created some pretty freaking hilarious yarns for New Times like "Cracking Up,"
which chronicled an experiment in which he followed the late mad scientist John Detrick around
really would fry on sidewalks.
In 1991, when violent criminals were targeting
lost tourists in their rental cars, Greenman concocted the "New Times
Rental Car Conversion Kit, a handy package of mail-order accessories tourists
could use to give their rented vehicles a local look. "To be a journalist
in Miami at the time you always knew something crazy would come up," he
says. "The paper was fun in a very intense way."
has gone on to edit the extensive calendar section of the New Yorker magazine and in his free time he writes quirky, clever
fiction tales that appear in the journal McSweeney's.
And like Defede, Rowe and Almond, Greenman is an accomplished book author. His
latest literary work, Please Step Back
(Melville, $16.95), is a novel that chornicles the life of Rock Foxx, a ficitional
musician who makes the transition from soul to rock during the heady Sixties.
Greenman at this year's Miami Book Fair when he joins fellow novelists Jonathan
Lethem and Michael Thomas in Pavillion A at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 15.
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