Big Names, Rising Stars

The Miami International Book Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the first ten months of the year, you already know that the literary luminaries are coming out in droves. Many of the fair’s celebrities have been visiting our shores for the past quarter-century, and quite a few cite good ol’ co-founder 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 the New Times, right?), so you’ve probably already set your cell phone calendar to see the likes of Nikki Giovanni, Junot Diaz, Dennis Lehane, and Scott McClellan today at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus (300 NE Second Ave., Miami). But you shouldn’t just head for the big names. First off, those events are probably going to be packed to the gills. And secondly, if you only make time for 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 those Blackberries and make a date with these authors.

Former mayor of Miami Beach Alex Daoud — who knows of such things — will read from his book Sins of South Beach at 10 a.m. in room 3410. Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There'd Be Cake is supposed to be the witty, dark, next-big-thing, and she’s reading at 3:30 in room 7128. The brink-of-fame author fun continues on Sunday: Emma Trelles will enchant audiences with word wizardry from her new collection of poems, Little Spells. Catch the former Sun-Sentinel art critic-turned-shooting star author at 1:30 in Building 3, room 410. Then dart over to hear Peter Moruzzi read excerpts from Havana before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground. It’s a lush, fantastic photographic homage to the Cuba of yore. He’ll share his story on Sunday at 4 p.m., in room 1101. Don’t forget to wander the International Pavilion — there’ll be film, musical, dance, and cultural performances at the fest’s World Stage as you wander by en route from reading to reading. For even more authorly info, visit
Sun., Nov. 16, 2008


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