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Critic's picks: Books

South Florida Arts Guide: @jakeflorida previews the 2016-17 literary season.

 

Miami Book Fair International

Nov. 13-20

Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave.; MiamiBookFair.com

With roughly 600 writers scheduled to attend, the Miami Book Fair is offering another smart display of talent in its 33rd year. On the fiction side, no author will arrive with a more buzzed-about book than Colson Whitehead, whose harrowing but undeniable novel "The Underground Railroad" lives up to every rave review it has received and every award it's sure to collect. Whitehead will be joined on the literature front by, among many others, Claire Vaye Watkins ("Gold Fame Citrus"), Marlon James ("A Brief History of Seven Killings"), T.C. Boyle ("The Terranauts") and Jay McInerney ("Bright, Precious Days"). Stage and screen actor Alan Cumming and "The Daily Show" host

Trevor Noah will fulfill this year's celebrity quota as they discuss their respective memoirs "You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams" and "Born a Crime." Nonfiction heavies include Russell Banks ("Voyager: Travel Writings"), Jeffrey Toobin ("American Heiress") and Rich Cohen ("The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones"). Finally, Florida-based writers Diana Abu-Jaber ("Life Without a Recipe"), Craig Pittman ("Oh, Florida!") and Patricia Engel ("The Veins of the Ocean") will remind fairgoers that it's no accident the country's biggest and best book festival takes place in our back yard.

Michael Chabon

8 p.m. Dec. 12

Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408 or BooksAndBooks.com

It's been four years since Michael Chabon published his last novel, "Telegraph Avenue," which he discussed in October 2012 with SouthFlorida.com's Phillip Valys prior to a reading at Books and Books. The novelist told Valys that he drew on his childhood in the "would-be utopia" of Columbia, Md., to write the book, which explores issues of race, capitalism and friendship through the prism of a used record store in California's Bay Area. When he returns to the Coral Gables bookstore this December, Chabon will have recently published another novel sparked by personal experience. "Moonglow" is based on a series of conversations Chabon had in 1989 with his maternal grandfather, who from his deathbed, the book's publicity materials claim, "shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before." The incident reportedly inspired a novel that braids the history of a man with that of his country, following the narrator's grandfather from his youth in prewar Philadelphia to his sunset years in late 20th century Florida. In addition to discussing "Moonglow" at Books and Books, expect Chabon to field a question or two about a forthcoming anthology to which he, Dave Eggers, Eimar McBride, Ayelet Waldman (Chabon's wife) and other writers contributed essays on Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories. Chabon and Waldman are editing the yet-to-be-titled book.

2017 Palm Beach Poetry Festival

Jan. 16-21

Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave.; PalmBeachPoetryFestival.org

Palm Beach County's longest-running literary event will offer another slate of award-winning poets for a series of public readings and private workshops in downtown Delray Beach. Charles Simic, a former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, leads a bill that includes Tina Chang, Lynn Emanuel, Carl Phillips and other hot-shot poets and educators. Find a complete lineup of events and poet bios on the festival's website.

Literary Feast 2017

March 31-April 1

Various locations in Fort Lauderdale; BPLFoundation.org

The Broward Public Library Foundation's annual shebang allows readers to break bread with notable authors in restaurants and private homes around Broward County. A fundraiser for the Foundation, the Literary Feast in 2017 will consist of four events: a Feb. 10 LitLUNCH! party at the Hyatt Regency's Pier Sixty-Six restaurant with an author to be named (last year's guest was "Princess Diaries" creator Meg Cabot); Novel Day for Students on March 31, when Feast authors will visit high schools throughout the county; LitLIVE!, also on March 31 and featuring readings by the authors at Barnes and Noble stores in Fort Lauderdale and Plantation; and, finally, the Night of Literary Feasts on April 1, when the writers and their audiences will meet for dinner at various locations. Participating authors include Robert Olen Butler, Joyce Maynard, Thomas Swick and newcomer Yaa Gyasi, whose novel "Homegoing" is among the most acclaimed literary debuts of the year.

Jake Cline is the entertainment news editor for the Sun Sentinel and SouthFlorida.com. Reach him at jcline@southflorida.com.

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