All this week, Miami is celebrating the world of literature with its annual Book Fair. Running from November 8 - 15 and open to the public for a small entrance fee, the fair is already going strong in its 26th year despite a significantly reduced budget, and is celebrating authors big and small.
The afterparties are nil and the fashions are more along the lines of smoking jacket than neon-green-laced-with-puke jacket, but as far as intellectual pursuits go, this weekend is gonna rock.
Readers have already gotten some major treats at the fair. Most notable so far have been Margaret Atwood, who spoke on Sunday and even sang one of the hymns from her new book, "Year of the Flood", Barbara Kingsolver, promoting her new book "Lacuna," and Ruth Reichl, editor of the recently-defunct Gourmet Magazine.
According to the Miami Herald, Kingsolver praised her audience Monday night for taking part in the Fair:
"The real beating heart of democracy is the place people love books. I salute you for your love of reading."
The Fair will also feature the lesser-known authors, many of whom will be profiled in the Miami New Times, such as poet Marie Ponsot, the "the best poet you've never heard of." Ponset will be reading from her new poetry collection, "Easy," which the New Times calls "pre-modernist." Says Ponsot:
"Poets are stupid to cut themselves off and say, I only write this kind of poem," Ponsot says. "I love rhyme and I love not-rhyming."
Upcoming authors to look out for are Isabella Rossellini on Thursday, Orhan Pamuk on Friday, Joyce Carol Oates, Al Gore, Tracey Kidder and Mary Karr on Saturday, and Sherman Alexie, and Jonathan Lethem on Sunday. If you plan on going, Miami Herald Book editor Connie Ogle suggests wearing comfortable shoes, bringing cash, and carrying a large bag, because even if you don't plan on buying any books, you almost certainly will.