Miami Book Fair To Host National Finalists

Book Fair Continues Through Nov. 23

Monica Torres


If there’s any doubt left that Miami is now visible on the literary map, this upcoming event should relinquish such stupendous traveling uncertainty in all you worldly literary explorers. 

At this year’s 31st Miami Book Fair International, the winners and finalists of one of the most prestigious literary awards in the nation, The National Book Awards, will read from their award-winning works at a special event at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.  The special Friday night event is part of the fair’s “Evenings with an Author,” a series of six nights featuring readings and discussions with noted international authors.   

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the National Book Foundation announced the National Book Award finalists in four categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. 

The National Book Awards ceremony took place in New York on Wednesday, Nov 19.   At the ceremony, the National Book Foundation presented the NBAs and two lifetime achievement awards to authors.

A live webcast of the National Book Award #NBAwards Ceremony will take place Wednesday Nov 19, 2014 at 7:40 p.m. at the NBF’s website:  Right after that, the winners of this prestigious literary prize will travel to Miami for “An Evening with the National Book Award Winners and Finalists,” on Friday.  The John S. and James L Knight Foundations is supporting this and other programs that make the Magic City a notable destination for the literary inclined.  Check the event page at Miami Book Fair International website: for details and ticket reservations for the special event and others.  

Here are this year’s finalists:


Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press/ Grove/Atlantic)

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner/ Simon & Schuster)

Phil Klay, Redeployment (The Penguin Press/ Penguin Group (USA))

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House)

Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)

Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes (Metropolitan Books/ Henry Holt and Company)

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Company)

Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright Publishing Corporation/ W.W. Norton & Company)


Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fanny Howe, Second Childhood (Graywolf Press)

Maureen N. McLane, This Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fred Moten, The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions)

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)

Young People’s Literature

Eliot Schrefer, Threatened (Scholastic Press)

Steve Sheinkin, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights (Roaring Brook Press/ Macmillan Publishers)

John Corey Whaley, Noggin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster)

Deborah Wiles, Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two (Scholastic Press)

Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Group (USA)


The National Book Awards are presented in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. Winners and Finalists are selected by independent panels of five writers and other experts in the category. 

The Miami Book Fair runs through Nov.  23. The Fair presents over 500 authors a year during the eight-day event; audiences number over 200,000 each year.

Read to Learn Books For Free

Also, at the Fair, Read To Learn Books For Free – a program developed by The Children’s Trust and operated by The Center for Writing and Literature @ Miami Dade College, are asking fairgoers to join the fight for literacy by one of the following ways: They can donate $1 at Street Fair entrances on Saturday and Sunday or   by  buying $1 books at the Read to Learn Books for Free booth. The Book Fair has opened up its airtight vaults where there are  autographed and even first editions availasble.

Take a picture with friends in the photo booth in Children’s Alley, where they can Facebook, Tweet, or take home a print for $1.

For over a year, Read to Learn has been taking action by providing books to children with little access to reading materials. In 2014 alone, Read to Learn Books for Free delivered more than 70,000 books to children in need – but supplies are running low. 

Read to Learn’s mission is to increase the number of third graders who read at or above grade level. Reading at grade level by the third grade is the leading indicator of school success and high school graduation. Books for Free helps by distributing 4,000 books a week -- making books more accessible to children through 42 strategically placed bookshelves filled with new and gently used age-appropriate books in highly visited locations – such as government agencies, low-income housing sites and health clinics, to name a few.

To support Read to Learn Books for Free, call 305-237-3298 or e-mail For more information on The Children’s Trust, visit For more information about The Center,  visit  


For regular updates on the Miami Book Fair,


please visit, call 305-237-3528 or email

Find the Fair on social media at

The National Book Foundation's mission is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America. In addition to the National Book Awards, for which it is best known, the Foundation's programs include 5 Under 35, a celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by former National Book Award Finalists and Winners; the National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, an opportunity for New York City students to interview the current National Book Award Finalists in Young People's Literature; NBA on Campus, a partnership that brings current National Book Award authors to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN; the Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading; and BookUp, a writer-led, after-school reading club for middle- and high-school students, run in New York City and Bryan, Texas.

The National Book Award is one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years. Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

Miami Book Fair International, widely considered the largest and finest literary event in the U.S., is the premier event of The Center for Literature and Theater @ Miami Dade College, a part of MDCulture, the Cultural Affairs Department of the College. The Center promotes reading, writing and theater at locations throughout South Florida by consistently presenting activities open to all. Its Generation Genius programs for children and teens promote literacy and learning. Its creative writing program has national appeal, and courses are taught by local and visiting authors. It is also home to Prometeo Theater, the nation's leading Spanish language, conservatory-style program offering training for actors, and featuring performances throughout the year. In 2012, the Center celebrated its tenth year with a renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts.


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