I remember the first few years of the Miami Book Fair, back in the 80’s, when it was limited to a handful of tables on a downtown street and the star readers were local talents like Dave Barry and Carl Hiassen. At its inception, the fair was essentially a local literacy campaign.
Now the Miami Book Fair International draws hundreds of thousands of authors and book lovers from all corners of the globe. This weekend marks its 21st year.
Over the next week, Edward P. Jones, Edwidge Danticat, Francisco Goldman, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ann Patchett, Lisa Glatt, Colm Toibin, Russell Banks, and many other authors will read. Book design guru Chip Kidd leant his talents for the poster (which you can order online). The event is, bar none, the most important literary event held in Florida each year.
As usual, there are weaknesses in the lineup, particularly among the political authors. The banal likes of Maureen Dowd and David Brooks appear, but there’s no Seymour Hersh or Thomas Frank. As for fiction, Tom Wolfe will read, but Philip Roth and Marilynne Robinson, authors of two of the year’s most highly-touted literary offerings, won’t.
South Floridians or visitors with reports from the fair are welcome to send them in.