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The Miami Book Fair International is here and I can almost hear the baristas churning out lattes, cappuccinos and a whole array of caffeine-enriched drinks by the second to a frenzied crowd of book fair goers. With the Street Fair set to open this weekend, November 16–18, literary junkies will flood downtown Miami to catch their favorite authors and possibly discover new ones. If you’re looking to dodge the masses clamoring in the streets, discover someone new, someone familiar or someone out of the mainstream, check out these writers scheduled for this weekend.

Miami Book Fair International

Miami Book Fair International.

This Saturday, November 17th at 1:30 p.m. there’s “A Conversation with Best-Selling French Author Marc Levy,” the most read French author in the world, presented by The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami-Dade College (MDC). His publications include If Only It Were True (adapted into the film Just Like Heaven), Finding You, Seven Days for an Eternity and In Another Life, among other works. The conversation with Levy, led by author Rosecrans Baldwin, is free and takes place Saturday, November 17th at 1:30 p.m. in room 8501 (Building 8, 5th floor).

Before Levy’s conversation and in the same location, there’s an interesting reading scheduled that will appeal to queer history buffs. At 11 a.m., two authors will shed light on the extraordinary progress and roadblocks same-sex couples have experienced in the United States. “Alternative Histories: Rodger Streitmatter on The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples and Michael Bronski on A Queer History of the United States” will illuminate audiences upon the hard fought/fraught triathlon same-sex couples have gone through to get to the respect they deserve today. Streitmatter’s work profiles couples who’ve made significant cultural contributions in various fields over the last 100 years, while Bronski’s A Queer History of the United States charts the course of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history from 1492 – the 1990s. This reading takes place Saturday, November 17th at 1:30 p.m. in room 8501 (Building 8, 5th floor).

For diehard Floridians, Florida History junkies and the Florida-curious, this is the reading for you: “Sunshine State Histories: James C. Clark on Presidents in Florida and Claude Pepper’s Epic Defeat, Martin A. Dyckman on The Golden Age of Florida Politics and Robert Kerstein on Inventing the Conch Republic.” “Sunshine State Histories” documents the impact presidents have had on our state; reveals how special interest money and partisan politics have flushed out the wave of 1970s progressive politics; and unravels the identity crisis Key West faces in the age of tourism. This reading takes place Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:00 a.m., room 8316 (Building 8, 3rd floor).

As you may have noticed, I only covered Saturday and only up to 1:30 p.m. It’s almost impossible to catch every single reading this weekend. But, here’s a suggestion: preview the entire list of authors scheduled to read and promise to see at least two authors you’ve never heard of before. Yes, we love our literary stars, but sometimes we need to experience the rising tide of lesser-known, yet extraordinary authors making their way to Miami and making their voices heard for the love of literature.

Take a few minutes and create your own Miami Book Fair International itinerary here: www.miamibookfair.com.

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