Whether you were young or old, a merciless critic or a PR guru, an aspiring writer or simply an avid reader, the Miami International Book Fair left little room for disappointment. From around the world, over 300 authors and 250 publishers and booksellers sought warmth and mutual admiration for literature in beautiful downtown Miami. This year’s event, presented by Miami Dade College and Florida Center for the Literary Arts, provided thousands of literary aficionados with a variety of author signings, book readings and discussions, workshops and more. With 8 days of literature exploration, you were certain to find something of interest.
Notable attendees at this year’s fair included former Vice President Al Gore, Canadian poet Margaret Atwood, activist, former presidential candidate and author Ralph Nader, and American novelist Barbara Kingsolver. Without question, however, many fairgoers reserved time in their schedule to hear a man not generally known for his literary prowess speak about his recent and highly anticipated autobiography, “Decision Points.” George W. Bush kicked off the festivities this year by offering insight into the defining moments of his life and the decisions that ultimately shaped his life, character, and political career. Over 3,000 people attended the discussion that afternoon.
This year, the Miami International Book Fair gave special recognition to the country of Mexico and the wealth of notable works of art and prominent figures from its literary history. Most notably, Carlos Fuentes, a public intellectual and writer, appeared at the fair this year to discuss highlights of his life and the influence it had on his career. In 1985, Fuentes’ book “Gringo Viejo” was the first Mexican novel to become a bestseller in the United States.
Some literature enthusiasts prefer the early morning read; others enjoy the P.M. peruse. Either way, with events running all day long, the attendees enjoyed their newfound author or rekindled classic work over complimentary cups of coffee or a glass of wine at the Twilight Wine Tasting event.
Since its inception in 1984, The Miami International Book Fair has been at the forefront of the literature world. Always aware of influential scenes and progressive ideas, the book fair has transformed over the years to include showcases for comics and graphic novels and other artistic mediums such as painting, photography, and cinema. This year’s Miami International Book Fair served as a platform and voice for the promotion and appreciation of international literature and the arts – and all participants are undoubtedly looking forward to next year’s events.