Miami Book Fair Spotlights LGBT Issues, Authors

Thousands of book lovers will hit the streets of downtown Miami for the Miami Book Fair International, the nation’s largest literary event, opening on Sunday, Nov. 16. Submitted photo.

Miami Book Fair International, the nation’s largest literary event hosted annually by Miami Dade College, will again highlight issues and authors of interest to the LGBT community.

The fair, Nov. 16 – 23, will open with Theodore B. Olson, the former Bush administrator solicitor general, who successfully argued with David Boies against California’s Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court. Olson will discuss their book, “Redeeming the Dream, the Case for Marriage Equality,” on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. in the college’s Chapman Conference Center. Olson will be joined by two of the original plaintiffs in the landmark case, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, for an up-close account of the most important civil rights issue before the Supreme Court since Brown v. Board of Education. The presentation is free, but tickets are required.

The fair’s popular “Evening with….” Series also brings popular authors popular with LGBT readers. Anne Rice, the creator of the immensely popular cult series, “The Vampire Chronicles,” will once again summon up her irresistible world of the undead with a discussion of her latest novel, “Prince Lestat,” on Monday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.

Iconic gay filmmaker John Waters (“Hairspray,” “Polyester”) will discuss his unforgettable experience chronicled in “Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes his Way Across America,” Saturday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. in the Chapman Center. Armed with wit, his signature pencil-thin mustache and a cardboard sign that read, “I’m Not Psycho,” he traveled across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers.

Tickets for both sessions are $15.

“From the beginning, the fair has always been inclusive of all voices,” said Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder and co-chair of Miami Book Fair International, including the LGBT community.

During the festival, a number of LGBT authors will be featured in a wide range of panel discussions, readings and presentations.

Achy Obejas, a Cuban-American writer and journalist who frequently writes regarding her sexuality and nationality, and is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian fiction, will participate in a panel with Edwidge Danticat, Roberto G. Fernández, M. Evelina Galang and Emma Ruby-Sachs called, “Immigrant Voices: 21st Century  Stories,” on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m.

Stephen Snyder-Hill, “Soldier of Change: From the Closer to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement,” Sean Strub, “Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival,” and poet Saeed Jones, “Prelude to a Bruise,” will conduct readings on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m.

The highlight for thousands of book lovers is the street fair on the college’s downtown Miami Wolfson campus, featuring stalls filled with new titles from local and international publishing houses, university presses and boutique publishers. Admission to the fair is free on Friday, Nov. 21 and $8 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22-23.

For a complete schedule of events and tickets, go to MiamiBookFair.com.


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