Rodrigo is lying on the dirty floor of a police prison cell with a terrible hangover. As he awakens, he hears that the attempt to assassinate President Hugo Chavez has failed. Fearful and repentant, he recalls the events that led him and his friends to plan the attack. This passionate novel mixes the recent history of Venezuela with powerful fiction to tell the tales of Rodrigo, Manuel, Alfredo, Carmen and Maikel. In addition to representing different social classes, these characters are mobilized by the expectations, disappointments and terrible losses they experience. The result is an intimate image of the emotions felt by Venezuelan society in response to the radical changes the country has seen.
The Guava Rugelach Festival kicks off Saturday night, September 1 at 9pm with the premiere of "Of Essence & Time/De la esencia & El tiempo" a collaborative performance by Sephardic singerSusana Behar, Flamenco guitarist Jose Luis Rodriguez and Nu Flamenco dancer Niurca Marquez. The piece explores the mutual Andalusian roots of Sephardic tradition and Flamenco music and how each has influenced the other in origins as well as in the artists' collaborative fusions. Tonight, Susana Behar joins us to discuss the artistic process of the three collaborators and give you a taste of what you will experience at the Festival. Join us! Ole!
Join us for a welcome back poetry celebration hosted by Maureen Seaton (University of Miami) and Denise Duhamel (Florida International University), who will introduce MFA alums, Jen Bartman, Neil de la Flor, Jason McCall, and Jesse Millner. The four poets will read both old and new work, including poems from their original creative theses as well as recently published collections.
Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan began writing a weekly column, “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” for King Features Syndicate in 2006. This timely new sequel to Goodman's New York Times bestseller of the same name gives voice to the many ordinary people standing up to corporate and government power--and refusing to be silent. The Silenced Majority (Haymarket, $16) pulls back the veil of corporate media reporting to dig deep into the politics of "climate apartheid," the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the movement to halt the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, and the globalization of dissent "From Tahrir Square to Liberty Plaza." Throughout Goodman and Moynihan show the power of ordinary people to change their media--and change the world. FREE tickets available, while supplies last, at our Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Bal Harbour Shops stores.
Finding Home (Reedy Press, $16.95) is a mother's letter to a most remarkable son, her golden child, the one who left her too soon. It is the true story of Ramiro ''Toti'' Mendez, an All-American college baseball player who starred at Florida International University and Miami's Westminster Christian High School. Toti, whose athletic endeavors graced local headlines, died from an undetected heart condition, without knowing the most important story of his life. This honest memoir is also about untold secrets. Maruchi Mendez never had the chance to explain to Toti about his birth. Toti was born in Asturias, Spain, and illegally adopted by Maruchi and her husband Ramiro, who brought him to the United States. ''How much is the life of a college athlete worth?'' Mendez asks. ''Who is watching out for them?'' Every year, the college scouting system monitors performance, speed, and GPAs, but it fails to do the same when it comes to their health. Meanwhile, athletes continue to drop dead in tracks and fields by the hundreds across the country. The strides Mendez has achieved in her son's name are marked by memories and tears. But they reinforce a mother's love each day and her resolve to tell his story to the world.
Bilingual Children's Concert: Join José-Luis Orozco, an expert in children's music, for a bilingual children's concert. Mr. Orozco is a featured speaker and presenter at educational conferences and seminars for teachers, parents, librarians and childcare providers who seek to use music as an important learning tool in multicultural classrooms. Jose-Luis has built a successful career as a childrens author, songwriter, performer and recording artist. He has recorded 13 volumes of Lírica Infantil, Latin American Children's Music, and written three successful, award winning books, De Colores and Other Latin American Folk Songs for Children, Diez Deditos – Ten Little Fingers, and Fiestas.
Craft Talk on Building and Rebuilding Stories: Are stories just a bunch of stuff that happens? This dynamic, informal craft talk will discuss the differences between stories of plot and stories of character. The talk will be broken up into about two dozen brief essays, shuffled by an audience member in random order, and read aloud by Michael Martone as he discusses the benefits of and differences between character-based and plot-based stories, including what each provides to the reader. Martone is currently a Professor at the University of Alabama where he has been teaching since 1996. He has been a faculty member of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College since 1988. He has taught at Iowa State University, Harvard University, and Syracuse University. Presented in collaboration with The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College.
Meet actor, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar, a first generation Pakistani-American born in the United States. He holds degrees in Theater from Brown University and in Directing from the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, where he won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays and was star and co-writer of The War Within, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and an International Press Academy Satellite Award for Best Picture, Drama. American Dervish (Little, Brown & Co., $14.99) is his first novel, now available in paperback. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page: Mina is Hayat Shah's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage disintegrates. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true.
Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, expert on religious violence, will address the question: "Why has the turn of the twenty-first century been rocked by a new religious rebellion?" From al Qaeda to Christian militias to insurgents in Iraq, a strident new religious activism has seized the imaginations of political rebels around the world. With his new book, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, Juergensmeyer provides an up-to-date road map through this complex new religious terrain. Juergensmeyer is the director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published more than two hundred articles and twenty books. His widely-read Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. Dr. Juergensmeyer's lecture is open to the public free of charge. Registration is required. For more information and to register please click here. Presented by the University of Miami Center for the Humanities in collaboration with Books & Books.
Lani Nash, a notable singer songwriter known for her poignantly beautiful writing and vocals that linger with a genuine heartfelt quality, moves audiences of all ages. Her musical start came before she was born. Lani’s grandfather, Connie Crunk (stage name Connie Conway), a noted musician, singer, songwriter, music teacher, and producer worked with producer Lee Hazelwood and was a great inspiration for her. Her mother and her aunt, daughters of Connie Crunk, were in a recording singing group called “The Three Teens” as teenagers. Lani has performed, written, produced and released four albums to date and is currently signed to Uh Uh Records, with Steve Durr who co-produced her most recent record “I’m Only Here for the Music” which hit the top 40 on the AMA charts.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz's first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with "the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet" (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year" by Time magazine and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself – with more than a million copies in print – as a modern classic.
Now Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. The stories in This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead, $26.95), by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that "love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever."
FREE tickets available at our Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Bal Harbour Shops stores.
In Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, a path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti's first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide's Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians. It makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of Haiti today, and is a vivid reminder of how democratic struggles in poor countries are often met with extreme violence organized at the behest of capital.