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The Miami Book Fair’s “Evening with…”series ranges from Nora Ephron to Patti Smith

November 12, 2010

Nora Ephron

Miami Book Fair International, the highlight of the literary year, kicks off Sunday. Unfortunately, you can’t go: George Bush has sold out (at $40 a pop!). What’s worse, Carlos Fuentes, Mexico’s top novelist, has canceled. Fortunately, this concludes the bad news portion of our program.

The good news: The remainder of the prestige “Evening with…” series of programs featuring celebrated authors (and just plain celebrities) is wide open through Friday, after which the weekend Street Fair gets underway, with more than 300 additional top authors from around the world.

But let’s focus on the “Evening with…” series today. All these author appearances will be held in the Chapman Conference Center (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) at the MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2ndAve., downtown Miami. Each requires a ticket that must be purchased for $10 in advance (visit and I highly recommend you buy tickets for the authors you want to see ASAP.

Monday: Humorist, novelist and screenwriter Nora Ephron, 8 p.m. Best known as an Oscar-winning screenwriter (Silkwood, When Harry Meet Sally, Sleepless in Seattle), Ephron turns her attention once again to aging in her new memoir, I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections. Here’s a Washington Post review.

Tuesday: At 6 p.m., journalist Christopher McDougall discusses his groundbreaking book, Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, which argues that runners should go barefoot. Here’s a review, also from the Washington Post.

8 p.m.: Robert Goolrick is the author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling novel, The Reliable Wife, and a much admired “blistering” family memoir, The End of the World as We Know It. See the Washington Post for a review of the novel, and The New York Times for a review of the memoir.

Wednesday, 8 p.m. America’s most beloved transgressive filmmaker (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray), John Waters is also an excellent comic essayist and social critic. His new book, Role Models, profiles people who have influenced his work, including surprises like crooner Johnny Mathis. Here’s a Q&A with Salon magazine.

Thursday, 6 p.m.: Journalist Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winner for the Washington Post, talks about his new book Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. Here’s an NPR profile, with an excerpt from the book.

8 p.m. Pat Conroy is the much loved author of novels such as The Water is Wide, The Great Santini and especially The Prince of Tides, but his new book, A Life Spent Reading, is a celebration of his own lit love. Here’s a review from a Lowcountry publication, the Charleston City Paper.

Friday, 6 p.m. Like most of the best science writers, E.O. Wilson is a scientist, too — one of the most important biologists of the past 40 years. Author of many popular science books, he won the Pulitzer in 1990 for The Ants. But his latest book, Anthill, is a novel. Here’s a Washington Post review.

8 p.m. Rock star poet Patti Smith has earned a National Book Award nomination for her memoir Just Kids, which focuses on her passionate relationship with photograher Robert Mapplethorpe when both were young unknowns in the New York of the early 1970s. Here’s a review from the London Guardian (by Edmund White, no less).

That’s a full slate of literature and celebrity for the coming week, but really, it’s just an appetizer for the Street Fair, with its usual embarrassment of riches, which will include appearances by Jonathan Franzen, Edwidge Danticat, Gish Gen, Lev Grossman, Susan Cheever, Lynda Barry, Scott Turow, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, Jennifer Egan, Julie Orringer, Sebastian Junger, and, really, literally, hundreds and hundreds more.

For a complete schedule, go here.



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