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April 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An Evening With Michael Ondaatje and Mitchell Kaplan


Event Category:

Books & Books


April 6
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
+ Google Map


“A poetry collection in which we ‘journey back through time by way of alchemical leaps, unearthing writings by revered masters, moments of shared tenderness, and the abandoned landscapes we hold on to to rediscover the influence of every border crossed.’”
—Lit Hub, “Most Anticipated Books of 2024”

The Books & Books Literary Foundation and Miami Book Fair present…


in conversation with

Mitchell Kaplan


 A Year of Last Things

(Knopf, $28.00)

Saturday, April 6th, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


The Books & Books Literary Foundation and the Miami Book Fair are elated to present an evening with Michael Ondaatje presenting and reading from his new book of poems: A Year of Last Things (Knopf, $28.00). He will be in conversation with Mitchell Kaplan.

Please note: For this event, audience members are strongly encouraged to wear masks. Books & Books will have masks available for distribution at the entrance.

***This event will take place at the Books & Books in Coral Gables at 265 Aragon Ave. Tickets include a PRE-SIGNED copy of A YEAR OF LOST THINGS, which will be handed out upon entry to the event.


About the Book:

From one of the most influential writers of his generation, a gorgeously surprising poetry collection about memory, history, and the act of looking back

Following several of his internationally acclaimed novels, A Year of Last Things is Michael Ondaatje’s long-awaited return to poetry. In pieces that are sometimes witty, sometimes moving, and always wise, we journey back through time by way of alchemical leaps, unearthing writings by revered masters, moments of shared tenderness, and the abandoned landscapes we hold on to to rediscover the influence of every border crossed.

Moving from a Sri Lankan boarding school to Molière’s chair during his last stage performance, to Bulgarian churches and their icons, to the California coast and his beloved Canadian rivers, Michael Ondaatje casts a brilliant eye that merges memory with the present, in the way memory as the distant shores of art and lost friends continue to influence everything that surrounds him.

From his poem “His chair, a narrow bed, a motel room, the fox”:
At the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles Sam Cooke was shot dead.
‘See that shadow on the wall . . .’ All those motels and hotels
in literature and song, where X wrote this,
where Y got drunk, where Z overdosed.
The one Hank Williams was driven past, dead already in his car.
The Slavianski Bazaar Hotel in “The Lady with a Dog,”
where Dmitri imagines their dark but hopeful future.
The Hôtel de ville de Courtrai, where Verlaine shot Rimbaud.
The Casa Verdi in Milan, where retired opera singers were welcomed
along with various heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa in their afterlife.

About the Author:

Michael Ondaatje is the author of seven novels, including Coming Through SlaughterThe Cat’s Table, and Warlight; a memoir, Running in the Family; a nonfiction book on film-editing, The Conversations;and several books of poetry, including The Cinnamon Peeler and Handwriting. Among other accolades, The English Patient received the Booker Prize in 1992 and was made into a film by Anthony Minghella; Anil’s Ghost was awarded the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto.

About the Moderator:

Mitchell Kaplan, a Miami Beach native, founded the independent bookstore chain Books & Books in 1982. Books & Books was named “Publishers’ Weekly Bookstore of the Year” in 2015. He is the co-founder of Miami Book Fair, a former president of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), and received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community” in 2011. He is the host of the podcast, “The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan” and with his partner Paula Mazur, formed the Mazur/Kaplan film production company to bring books to the screen.