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Literary Feast brings smorgasbord of authors to NSU

For author Brian Jay Jones, it's not easy finding a biography of Jim Henson.

Of all the surprising revelations he uncovered about the late entertainer, inventor of The Muppets, puppet-maker of "Sesame Street" and the voice of "Ernie" (of "Bert and Ernie"), Jones said the biggest was the lack of a definitive book written about the much-praised figure in American pop culture. So he wrote one.

"Jim Henson was the eye of the hurricane, and everyone was rotating 100 miles an hour around him," says Jones, writer of "Jim Henson: The Biography," who's billed to appear the 26th annual Literary Feast at Davie's Nova Southeastern University. "This was a guy constantly in motion, constantly pitching ideas, even if his ideas weren't completely sane. There were great books about his works, but no books about the man."

Jones is one of 20 authors expected to be at Literary Feast, the Broward Public Library Foundation's annual fundraiser running March 15-17.

The author of a biography about another pop-culture figure, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" creator Washington Irving, Jones gained insider access to Henson's inner circle: Henson's wife, Jane (now deceased); daughter Lisa, director George Lucas and puppeteer Frank Oz (the voice of "Bert" to Henson's "Ernie").

The free LitLive! event March 16, in which the public can meet authors and attend themed book talks at NSU's Alvin Sherman Library, will feature appearances from John Grogan ("Marley and Me"), T.D. Allman ("Finding Florida"), Martha Grimes ("The Way of All Fish"), Andrew Carroll ("Here is Where") and Robin Cook ("Cell"). Jones will speak at 1 p.m.

LitLive! is the main draw for the public, but A Night of Literary Feasts on March 15 is the foundation's moneymaker, says Dorothy Klein, the nonprofit's executive director.

"It's a gala cocktail party featuring a series of intimate dinners with authors hosted in private homes and upscale restaurants," Klein says of the $175-per-person event, which begins at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. "I think it's really one of our finest years, in terms of well-known authors, masters of their craft, and who are just plain interesting."

The final event, Novel Day for Students, on March 17 is closed to the public.

If you go

A Night of Literary Feasts: 6-8 p.m. March 15, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, 3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale. $175.

LitLive!: 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. March 16, Alvin Sherman Library, 3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Blvd., Davie. Free.

Info: 954-357-7382, or Twitter @philvalys

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