Our picks of authors to see at the 2023 Miami Book Fair
Dave Barry appears at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, to introduce his latest book, “Swamp Story,” at the Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus. (Photo courtesy of Miami Book Fair)
With more than 400 authors at this year’s Miami Dade College’s Miami Book Fair, who to see? Granted, it’s hard to pick so here’s a sampling — familiar faces and names, celebrities with tell-tale memoirs, stories from political insiders, plus poets, comics and creatives from right here at home.
The Miami Book Fair is located at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.
Janet Evanovich, 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3209, 300 NE Second Ave. “I’m Stephanie Plum. Jersey girl. Rutgers graduate. Successful underachiever working for Vincent Plum Bail Bonds as a recovery agent, hunting down losers who’ve skipped out on their bond,” starts Janet Evanovich’s “Dirty Thirty.” Plum was first introduced in 1995’s “One for the Money,” which was turned into a film of the same name in 2012 starring Katherine Heigl. Now her believed heroine, back for her 30th adventure – hence “Dirty Thirty,” is hot on the trail of a stolen cache of dirty diamonds. Maybe it’s time for another Plum movie from the author the New York Times dubbed “the most popular mystery writer alive.”
Mitch Albom, 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, Chapman Conference Center, Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210, 300 NE Second Ave. What’s a book fair without Mitch Albom, whose books have sold more than 40 million copies in 48 languages, bolstered by, of course, the most recognizable “Tuesdays with Morrie”? He’s headed back to the fair to talk about his latest novel set during the Holocaust. In “Little Liar,” eleven-year-old Nico Krispis’ grandfather taught him “Never be the one to tell lies because God is always watching.” When Nazis invade his home in Greece, a German officer offers him a chance to save his family by convincing his fellow Jewish residents to board trains heading toward “the East” to safety. After learning he has helped send family and neighbors to their deaths, Nico never tells the truth again. The book’s release is only four days before Albom appears at the fair.
Jada Pinkett-Smith, 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12, Miami Dade College, Chapman, Building 3, Floor 2, 200 NE Second Ave. From the infamous Oscar slap heard around the world to the confession with NBC’s Hoda Kotb that she’s been separated from husband, Will Smith, for seven years, Jada Pinkett Smith delivers a tell-all memoir of the rollercoaster ride and trappings of Hollywood fame. In “Worthy,” she delves into growing up on the Baltimore streets, her move to Los Angeles, her deep bond with the late rapper Tupac Shakur and her marriage to Smith. She talks about suicidal depression and rising up to accept herself on her own terms. She’s candidly frank in her memoir and expectations of her appearance at the Book Fair promise nothing less. This is a $42 ticketed event that includes a copy of “Worthy.” Companion tickets are limited to one at $15 and do not include the price of the book.
Henry Winkler, 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12, Miami Dade College, Auditorium, Building 1, Second Floor, 300 NE Second Ave. “It was the biggest audition of my life, and the sweat stains under my arms weren’t just clearly visible, they were a cry for help,” Henry Winkler writes in his autobiography, “Being Henry: From the Fonz and Beyond.” He was reading for the part that would change his life, Arthur Fonzarelli, aka the Fonz. It was the breakthrough that made Winkler a household name. He says in his book that he scraped through college even though he couldn’t read and divulges his dyslexia. He talks about his father pawning his mother’s jewelry when he arrived on Ellis Island, a German Jew who spoke German, not Yiddish in the household and the colorful nickname his parents gave him: “dummer Hund.” Winkler’s crossing the country promoting “Being Henry” and has included the Fair as a stop on the tour. This is a $4o ticketed event that includes a copy of “Being Henry.” Companion tickets are limited to one at $15 and do not include the price of the book.
WAR AT HOME AND ABROAD
Cassidy Hutchinson, 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16. Miami-Dade College, Auditorium, Building 1, Second Floor, 300 NE Second Ave. The whistleblower and former aide to Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, became recognizable as she stood pledging to tell the truth as a witness in the House January 6 investigations. The then 25-year-old was an unknown who spoke out about what was going on inside the White House as the US Capitol was being turned upside down. In her long-titled memoir, “Enough, A Portrait of How the Courage of a Person Can Change the History Course,” she goes even further than what she told the millions of television watchers and the House audience. Trump smashing plates and squirting ketchup on walls, Meadows lighting bags of documents on fire and Rudy Giuliani’s sexual advances in the midst of the mayhem. No doubt, the insider has more to stories tell. This is a $38 ticketed event that includes a copy of “Enough . . .” Companion tickets are limited to one at $15 and do not include the price of the book.
Martin Baron, 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19. Chapman Conference Center, Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210, 300 NE Second Ave. He was only months into his new job when he found out that a billionaire was buying the company. But Baron didn’t just have any job and it wasn’t any billionaire. He was executive editor at The Washington Post and the new owner was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Two years later, Donald Trump won the presidency. Baron had found himself in a precarious position. In the opening paragraphs of “Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos and the Washington Post,” he recounts the invitation to the White House where Bezos, Baron and another member of the newsroom staff would dine with Trump and family. This was the same newspaper which, in 1972, broke the story that brought down a Republican president and opened the floodgates of what would become Watergate. And now, with Jared Kushner at the table, a Washington Post alert arrives on cellphones: Special Counsel Mueller is investigating the president’s son-in-law about his dealings in Russia. Baron began his journalism career at the Miami Herald in 1976 as a reporter and later as a business writer. He ran numerous newsrooms and was the executive editor at the Washington Post from 2013 to 2021, at which time the newspaper won 10 Pulitzer Prizes.
Mikhail Zygar, Noon, Saturday, Nov. 18, Building 2, First Floor, Room 2106, 300 NE Second Ave. When the war in Ukraine began, the independent Russian journalist circulated a Facebook petition signed by thousands in an act that led to a new law in Russia criminalizing criticism of the war. From the inside, Zygar who fled Russia, reveals his country’s history of oppressing Ukraine. He’s an expert on Putin’s moods and behavior and has spent years studying the Kremlin’s plan regarding Ukraine. In his book, “War and Punishment: Putin, Zelensky, the Path to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Zygar explains how the world arrived to where it is today in the war between Ukraine and his home country.
Dave Barry, 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, Auditorium, Building 1, Second Floor, Room 1261, 300 NE Second Ave. He’s the Jimmy Buffet of books, you could say. Miami resident, former Miami Herald columnist, and humorist has penned his first novel in 10 years and it’s zany. The Florida Everglades caper, “Swamp Story,” finds Jesse Braddock stuck in a cabin deep in the ‘glades with her baby daughter and her do-nothing boyfriend who has blown through all their money, including her trust fund. A long-lost treasure could be the answer to all her troubles but finding the trove of gold bars is only the start of what could go wrong. Barry’s appearance is part of the Wacky, Wild and Witty segment on Saturday afternoon. And why not? Among a multitude of crazies in his book, there’s a python hunter who has an emotional support boar at his side.
Evelina Galang, 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3209, 300 NE Second Ave. The director of the MFA Creative writing program at the University of Miami from 2009 to 2019 and currently a professor for the UM creative writing program follows up her 2017 nonfiction book, “Lola’s House, Filipino Women Living with War” with her seventh book, “When the Hibiscus Falls.” Seventeen short stories follow the lives of Filipino and Filipino-American women, some from the past who move from small Philippine villages to those in the not-so-far-off future settling on a hurricane beaten Florida coast. With an eye on ancestry and her pen on the short story, Galang, who moved to Miami in 2002, is a prolific contributor to Miami’s literary landscape.
Richard Blanco, 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, Auditorium, Building 1, Second Floor, Room 1261, 300 NE Second Ave. Named Miami-Dade County’s first poet laureate in 2022 by Daniella Levine Cava, Blanco was selected by President Barack Obama as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history. At the time, he was the youngest (Joe Biden’s inauguration poet, Amanda Gorman, is now the youngest), the first Latinx, immigrant and gay person to serve in such a role. His latest is a collection of more than 100 poems, “Homeland of My Body: New & Selected Poems,” where he reexamines his life-long quest to find his proverbial home. Blanco’s first play, “Sweet Goats & Blueberry Señoritas” which he co-wrote with Miami’s Vanessa Garcia is now being staged by Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables at the Miracle Mile Theatre. If you’d like to get a double dose of Blanco, see him at the fair, then go see his play.
WHAT: Miami Dade College’s Miami Book Fair
WHERE: Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 19. Various times for author events; street fair 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19.
COST: Various events are free with RSVP, Street Fair admission is free on Friday, then Saturday and Sunday, $8 in advance, $10 at the gate. Author events range in price, some admission prices include copies of books.
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