Last night's appearance by two-time National Book Award finalist and MacArthur Genius grant recipient (and Miami's own) Edwidge Danticat continued more than three decades of Books & Books bringing the world's most important and entertaining writers to Miami. It was also one of the first to streamed as part of the store's initiative to permanently archive these writers reading to and interacting with Miami audiences.
This is also excellent news if you can't make it out to one of the readings, just want to listen to something interesting instead of doing work at your office, or are a hideous, pustule-crusted monstrosity who knows that the less seen of you in public, the better.
See also: Edwidge Danticat on her new novel, Claire of the Sea Light
You Should Be Reading: But if you can't, now you can watch videos of people reading to you about the Bee Gees
"We'll also be doing some of our offsite events," Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan says. "Mostly, we'll be streaming anything where the author is making a presentation that we think people will want to see."
As befits the store's broad-ranging tastes, some of the bigger names coming include Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding, Jesmyn Ward, and The Color of Water author James McBride, who will be introduced by Dave Barry. In the coming weeks, you'll be able to see CeeLo Green, National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis, and Adam Grant, "really an interesting guy," according to Kaplan. "His book Give and Take has been a bestseller. He went to Wharton and has a new way of looking at business."
Nelson DeMille will read from his latest and Marie Arana will take part in a conversation about the life of Simón Bolivar. There will be a Bee Gees biography by David N. Meyer and Sara Farizan's debut about a forbidden Iranian romance, If You Could Be Mine. Some events, like the upcoming appearance by Edmundo Paz Soldán will be presented in Spanish.
As you might imagine, there are many previous evenings that Kaplan would love to have had archived.
"We've been open for 32 years," he says. "We've had everyone from Isaac Singer to Mario Vargas Llosa to Allen Ginsberg. I would love to have Joseph Heller or Jerzy Kosinski's readings preserved. Or Elmore Leonard and Charlie Willeford, whom we associate with Miami. We had Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the store. Really, I'm hard-pressed to pick any that we wouldn't have wanted to archive."
Other than Danticat's reading last night, a few other Miami writers have already been streamed and recorded, including John Dufresne with his very funny new thriller No Regrets, Coyote and Patricia Engel's reading from her debut novel It's Not Love, It's Just Paris.
So save that money that you would have paid for gas and parking and put it towards a new book. You can also order books through the store's website that you can sign yourself ("To Carol, Your cystic acne really brings out the jaundice in your eyes. Best wishes, James Fenimore Cooper") removing any need for you to ever leave your house ever again. Just take a look at the internet...it's scary out there!
To explore the archives or to watch upcoming author appearances, visit booksandbooks.com.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.