books

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

Geetha Balakrishnan grew up in what she calls a “very white Australia.”

“I’m grateful for my education, but there are certain things you can’t explore in an environment where you’re the only person, or very few of you are from different backgrounds,” she says.

VONA, Junot Diaz Writing Workshop, Moves To Miami

Jun 24, 2015
Maria Murriel / WLRN

"What happens if a writer of color wants to write about white supremacy?" asks Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who last year penned a New Yorker essay about the "unbearable too-whiteness" of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs. 

Diaz is co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) and the VONA/Voices workshop, which for 15 years has provided a "safe space" in the San Francisco Bay Area for writers of color.

Meg Cabot / Macmillan Publishing

Writer Meg Cabot is best known for the Princess Diaries series, made famous by two movies starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. But she quit writing that series in 2009, when Princess Mia graduated from high school.

Gustave Dore / Wikimedia Commons

En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme...

Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember...

-opening to "Don Quixote"

Anyone who’s grown up under communism can appreciate Cuban émigré Erisbel Tavio’s taste in books.

To survive totalitarian governments, and occasionally stand up to them, it helps to be a little insane. And there’s no more heroic nut in all of literature than Don Quixote, the protagonist of the classic novel of the same name by Spanish author Miguel Cervantes.

Key West's literary heritage is overwhelmingly associated with one writer: Ernest Hemingway. The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winner's former home is a popular museum. And every summer there's a look-alike contest where white-bearded men compete to look like Papa.

But recently, the island has turned to celebrating another 20th-century writer who made Key West his home: Tennessee Williams. 

John Walther / Miami Herald staff

Much has been written about the close bonds forged between Jews and African-Americans in Miami in the 1950s at the start of the civil rights movement.  But a more complex, conflicted side of that relationship has fired the imagination of local novelist Joan Lipinsky Cochran.  

Phyllis Rose

Key West’s literary community was already gathered over the weekend for the annual Literary Seminar when they learned they had lost one of their own. Novelist Robert Stone died Saturday in Key West. He was 77.

www.martinamisweb.com

01/05/15 - Monday’s Topical Currents features our literary contributor, Ariel Gonzalez and an interview with acclaimed British author Martin Amis.  He’s the son of novelist Kingsley Amis—and has published more than 20 books since his days at Oxford.

Abhi Sharma / Flickr CC

As the year winds down, some of us find ourselves with some extra time off and maybe a little more time to read over the next few days. So we asked Miami Herald book editor Connie Ogle to tell us about some of her favorite books of 2014.

The Herald put together a top 10 list. Click here to see it.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Miami Book Fair International / Courtesy

South Florida knows how to throw a party. And it better, considering how important hospitality is to the regional economy. From conferences and conventions to fairs and festivals, the event business picks up as temperatures up north drop. Some are for out-of-towners exclusively, others celebrate South Florida for South Floridians.

To get a sense of the economics and local emotions involved, The Sunshine Economy spoke with the driving forces behind four big events that dot the South Florida map.

How Much Do You Know About Florida Beer History?

Nov 20, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Mark DeNote doesn't teach his middle school history students about beer. But he did write Florida's history of "the drink of the working class" in his book, "The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide."

Joyce Tenneson / RichardBlanco.com

From the opening pages of poet Richard Blanco’s refreshing memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” it’s clear that you’re not wandering Calle Ocho in one of those nostalgic, Little Havana paradises that so many Cuban-American chronicles try to recreate.

Instead, you’re wandering a Winn Dixie in Westchester.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Say you walk into an office building. On the reception desk is a nice, lush, green-leafed plant with white dots on it. You think, “how nice and outdoorsy.”

Chances are it's a deathly, toxic plant called a "dumb cane."

That's one of the tidbits included in Michael Largo's most recent publication, "The Big, Bad Book of Botany." It’s an encyclopedia-style book about botany sprinkled with surprising, funny and historical tales of plants.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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