Dear Readers, the Miami Book Fair was terrific! Was I there? I’m not sure.
I staggered up at 5.30 on the morning of Sunday, Novembr 8, having flown back from Chicago the day before in order to go to a wonderful concert for the Silver Anniversary of the Canadian Opera Company – at which we stayed up late. Stumbled onto the plane, on which I fell asleep. Wandered around in the new terminal in a zombieish manner until I was finally located by the lovely Music Express driver, who de-podded me at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables (right around the corner from Books & Books, whose Mitch Kaplan essentially founded the now hugely successful Miami Book Fair in the teeth of great skepticism @ 15 years ago.)
The weather was lovely, and in other circs. I would have strolled, lounged, or lolled, but I was so depleted I went to sleep. Made it up an hour or two later, got collected by Susan Cumins, and then it was Miami By Night among the new high-rises as we wended our neon way to Miami Dade College.
I think the event was wonderful – the audience was, in any case, and so was the introduction – but I can’t entirely recall what I did. Not only that, my camera battery had run down so I couldn’t take pictures of the heroic Mitch and his equally heroic helpers. I do have a blurry recollection of hearing about the astonishing efforts and successes of the Miami Dade Board of Education – a lot of creative initiatives there – and the people were warm and welcoming. If anyone was more awake than I was, maybe you took some pictures and can send them! As it is, all I can offer are some rather pathetic (though colourful) views taken the next morning, once my camera battery was recharged. The Historic Foyer is in the hotel – the showpiece for Coral Gables, the first gated community in the U.S., I was told – and I was also told that they once practiced parachute jumping from the dome. A trampoline? Rubber spines? It’s a very short drop.
I have very fond memories of not having any clear memories of what happened in Miami, except that it was all good. I did sign a lot of books. I remember that part. And there are a lot of plastic fish in the new airport, fancifully arranged into wreaths… no. Not a hallucination. Real. Real fake fish…<a href=”http://twitpic.com/qsxfl” title=”Margaret Atwood at the Miami Book Fair for Year of the Flood …
See Soesposito picture on Twitpic: http://twitpic.com/show/thumb/qsxfl.jpg