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17 November 2011

Miami Book Fair International returns to Downtown

Now in its 28th year, the Miami Book Fair International has given readers and writers something to look forward to each fall.

Presented by the Center at Miami Dade College, this year’s festivities began on Sunday featuring events like the Evenings with… series, which presents six nights of readings and discussions with authors from around the world.

This year’s fair will focus on China by representing Chinese culture and art through different events. Several Chinese and Chinese-American figures will attend the fair, including Secretary General of the China Novels Society Jiang Bing and novelist Hong Ying, whose works have been published in 29 languages.

Apart from the focus on literature, the fair also highlights art and music. One event, Arts at the Fair, features exhibitions that blend art with literature, including paintings by artist Arturo Rodriguez and award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Several musical performances will also be held through Sunday.

Although music and art are incorporated into many of the fair’s events, many attendees enjoy the focus on literature, including the chance to speak with authors.

“The best thing about the fair is still the chance to see, hear, and talk with these writers up close and personal,” said UM professor Judy Hood, who teaches English composition.

But perhaps the fair’s best feature starts on Friday, when the Street Fair takes over downtown Miami. The streets will be filled with live music, food, activities, and more than 200 national and international exhibitors selling books.

Some students are excited to see the authors attending this year’s fair.

“I can’t wait to see Lauren Book,” sophomore Sabrina Rishmague said. “Her memoir that focuses on her experience with abuse is inspiring.”

Others are looking forward to the fair’s other features.

“I’ve never been to the Street Fair, so I’m excited to go to the different events,” sophomore Alex Ades said. “I’m looking forward to the jazz groups that are performing.”

The Street Fair runs Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free on Friday. However, the fee will be $8 on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit miamibookfair.com.