Celebrations of the printed word are taking place this month at literary extravaganzas in Salem, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida.
SALEM LIT FEST
November 12-14 and 18
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff is slated to deliver the Lit Fest’s keynote address on November 13. She’ll discuss her new book, The Witches, Salem 1692, which delves into the dark history of this picturesque seaside town. The talk will take place in a storied locale, the East India Marine Hall, constructed in 1825 to showcase objects local sailors brought back from their global journeys. Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne once showed the Hall (now part of the Peabody Essex Museum) to his writer friends Emerson, Thoreau, and Longfellow. Visit pem.org for information about admission costs and reservations.
Other events include a lecture by Salem resident and novelist Brunonia Barry on November 18 at the House of the Seven Gables, the dwelling featured in Hawthorne’s fictional tale and now a museum. Barry is the author of the contemporary novels The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places, her latest, both of which feature “an involving, intricately woven story and vivid descriptions of historic Salem” (Booklist). Visit 7gables.org for more information.
MIAMI BOOK FAIR
Among the week-long happenings at the Miami Book Fair are panels, readings, the Ibero-American Authors program in Spanish, a street fair showcasing hundreds of exhibiting publishers and booksellers, cooking demonstrations, musical performances, and even poets turning out impromptu verse.
If we were attending this year’s Fair, we would be sure to show up for “Tales of the 20th Century: New Fiction,” a panel on November 21 featuring four historical fiction authors: B. A. Shapiro (The Muralist), Sara Gruen (At the Water’s Edge), Mary Morris (The Jazz Palace), and Paula McLain, whose latest novel, Circling the Sun, centers on Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen penned the memoir Out of Africa.
Visit miamibookfair.com for ticketing details and other information. The street fair is free on Friday, November 20. On Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, admission to the street fair is $8; ages 13-18 and over 62: $5.