More than 500 Authors to Attend 2017 Miami Book Fair Former Vice President Joe Biden will be among the prominent figures to present at this year’s Miami Book Fair (MBF), which promises to be another memorable event. Like many politicians before him, Biden understands the power of Miami Book Fair. All he has to do is ask former President Barack Obama, who spoke about the audacity of hope to a packed house at MBF in 2006. Or, Biden can ask former President George W. Bush, who stopped at Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami in 2010 for a conversation about his book, Decision Points. Miami Book Fair is more than the greatest festival of its kind in the United States. It’s a community with a shared passion for books and reading that has been drawing people together through literary culture since 1983. Consider the level of change that has taken place since Miami Dade College partnered with Miami-based independent booksellers and librarians to launch a shared dream. That same year, literary legends James Baldwin and Reinaldo Arenas were Miami Book Fair’s first major stars, Ronald Reagan was president, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space and the computer mouse was invented. COMMUNITY THROUGH BOOKS The first book fair at MDC, Wolfson Campus featured a total of 60 authors. The 2017 Miami Book Fair, which runs from Nov. 12-19, will include more than 500 authors presenting in English, Spanish, Creole and French. This year’s list of literary, cultural and political icons includes the aforementioned Biden with his book Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, about the loss of his son Beau and his faith in the potential of tomorrow. Journalist Dan Rather, who helms The Big Interview on AXS TV, is calling on citizens to look beyond adversity in his new book, What Unites Us. Al Franken will share his memoir, Giant of the Senate, taking us on a ride from his days writing for Saturday Night Live to his current role as a U.S. senator. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell recalls the election of 1968 in Playing with Fire. For the third time, “punk poet laureate” and National Book Award winner Patti Smith brings her intense commitment to writing to the Fair with her new book, Devotion (Why I Write). Another MBF favorite, Isabel Allende, returns with her latest book, In the Midst of Winter. Raoul Peck, Haiti’s former minister of culture and filmmaker of James Baldwin’s I Am Not Your Negro, will lead a conversation to include acclaimed writer Edwidge Danticat. George W. Bush’s and Laura Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, will discuss their new book, Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life. Salman Rushdie, beloved author who has not missed many Miami Book Fairs during his stellar literary career, will present his new novel, The Golden House. Legendary author of Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin returns with his memoir, Logical Family. CNN commentator Van Jones, author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together, will attend. Kizhr Khan will discuss his book about his son, a U.S. Army Captain killed in Afghanistan, titled, An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice. Walter Isaacson will present a new biography of Leonardo Da Vinci. Conservative thinkers Ken Stern, former NPR CEO and author of A Republican Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right, and Charles Sykes, radio host and bestselling author of How the Right Lost Its Mind, will both be on hand to discuss their works. Political analyst and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson will present his new book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. Environmental activist Bill McKibben will read from his first novel, Radio Free Vermont. Acclaimed novelists also appearing include Colm Toibin, Claire Messud, Jennifer Egan, Jami Attenberg, Scott Turow, Mary Gordon, Lisa See, Min Jin Lee and Amy Bloom. In addition, four of the most important American poets writing today, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, Victor Hernández Cruz and Gerald Stern, will read from new volumes. In the weeks leading up to the official launch of the 2017 event, Miami Book Fair will host several notable authors to set the literary stage for the weeklong fair. In September, author, psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman, who wrote for The New York Times, is slated to present his new book, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes your Mind, Brain and Body. In October, singer, songwriter and cultural icon Art Garfunkel will take the stage with his book, What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man. Additionally, October will feature Astronaut Scott Kelly reading from his book, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Closing out the list of “pre-fair” authors is Jeff Kinney with his latest creation, The Getaway, the 12th book in the Wimpy Kid series. Miami Book Fair is again partnering with MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) and its acclaimed restaurant, Tuyo, to create Kitchen Stadium, where chefs will show off their techniques and recipes. Italian cooking legend Lydia Bastianich will be part of this year’s lineup, which also includes Rocco Di Spirito with Rocco’s Healthy & Delicious and Top Chef’s Gail Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine with her new book, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes From a Life of Adventurous Eating. The highlight of the street fair, which starts Nov. 17, will be the weekend programming that includes panels of authors presenting, reading and discussing their published works. The Miami Foundation has joined with Knight Foundation to help fund The Porch, a multi-disciplinary performance and hangout space featuring live music and off-beat literary activities, but which also functions as a town square where fairgoers can relax and grab a bite. Many other foundations, including the Peacock Foundation and Batchelor Foundation, as well as the de Groot Foundation, support MBF. For the hottest ticket in town this November and to become a member of Miami Book Fair, visit miamibookfair.com.
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