As every year, the Miami Book Fair opens its doors from November 15-22 to bring some of the best authors from the United States, Latin America and the world to Southwest Florida. 2020’s version, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced its organizers to turn it into a virtual event, which allows visitors to have full access to all the talks, presentations and activities for adults and children that the fair makes available.
The featured Latinx works and writers, as you can imagine, are a highlight in this prestigious festival of literature and we wanted to make a list of all you can check out on that front at this year’s virtual festival.
Spain in Miami
There are many Spanish authors who have won the affection of American readers for the quality of their works, whether translated or in Spanish. Among those visiting this year’s festival are three key figures in contemporary Spanish literature:
Writer Rosa Montero will speak from Spain with her editor, Pilar Reyes, about her latest book La buena suerte (Nov. 22 at 3 p.m.). The novel delves into the mysteries that surround a man, Pablo, who flees from his pursuers and gets off a train in a small town where he must face a game of falsehoods while the author reflects on human desire and the limits of Good and Evil.
Journalist and writer Javier Cercas will also present Terra Alta, the work that won the Planeta Prize last year, and talk about the novel anchored in the police tradition with Mexican author Daniel Rodríguez Barrón (Nov. 15 at 3 p.m.).
Finally, writer Almudena Grandes — one of Spain’s most internationally renowned writers — will present on La Madre de Frankenstein while returning to a recurring theme in her works, namely the Spanish post-war period and the struggle of a woman and man to resist in difficult times. (Nov. 21, 11 a.m.).
There couldn’t be an event in Miami, the heart of Cuba away from Cuba, without featuring a piece of its cultural essence. Poet, screenwriter and Cuban music researcher Ramón Fernández Larrea will speak about the new edition of Kabiosiles, los músicos de Cuba. A collection of emotional portraits of the island’s musicians, written in a poetic and vibrant way, which includes bolero, guajira, rumba and other genres with a Caribbean stamp. (Nov. 19, 6 p.m.).
Fury poured into words and a feeling of never shutting up is a common denominator for the authors of the so-called Mariel Generation, who played a major role in the 1980 Cuban exodus to the United States, and founded the literary magazine Mariel — named for the port where they embarked. Authors such as Reinaldo Arenas, Roberto Valero, Luis de la Paz and René Cifuentes, who marked a milestone in literature, will have a panel dedicated to them and some of their protagonists at the festival. (Nov. 16 7 p.m.).
In Spanish from U.S.
If, according to writer and researcher Naida Saavedra, writing in Spanish from the United States is a form of resistance for the Latino writing community, both publishers and authors of the so-called New Latino Boom were must-attendees.
It’s a key movement to understand the strength of Spanish literature in the country and the confluence of two cultures that are balanced in harmony, making its way through the works of writers like Cristina Rivera Garza, or Naida Saavedra herself. Some of the movement’s protagonists will speak widely at the festival. (Nov. 17 7 p.m.).
The fair will serve as the meeting place for other Latinx authors who publish their works in Spanish, and are greater evidence of the growth of the scene in the country. Writers like Jesus Barquet, Pablo Brescia, or Daenerys Machado, among many others. (Nov, 16 6 p.m.).
You can register for events at miamibookfaironline.com and become an active part of this festival of expanded literature that bridges the gap between the Latinx community and the world.