Author News and Book Reports

Barbara Kingsolver fills a nine-year gap with 'The Lacuna'
With an introduction by Miami Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal, Barbara Kingsolver made a rare public appearance at the 2009 Miami Book Fair to introduce her first novel since The Poisonwood Bible was published nine years earlier--The Lacuna (Harper; November, 2009), a novel set in Mexico and the U.S. spanning the transformative years in world history, 1929-1950. Offering a taste of the 528-page novel's storyline and characters, Kingsolver read four passages from the book, beginning with the very beginning of the story, where we meet the howlers and the main characters, Salome and her son, the novel's protagonist, Harrison, as he is growing up in Mexico. Kingsolver closed her reading with a passage wherein Harrison, now a bodice-ripping, historical romance writer living in the U.S., returns to Mexico in 1947. Following the reading, Kingsolver took questions from the audience regarding her shy personality and the private vs. public life of a writer; her ability to evoke a keen sense of place, creating the 'fabric of details' for her novels through visualization, first-hand experience of the place, and historical research; her perspective on the relationship between art and politics; whether her characters are real or allegorical, using Nathan Price in The Poisonwood Bible as an example; her delineation of the differences between literary and commercial fiction; and the scope of her writing life and career, from childhood poet to bestselling author.

Book and Author Headlines

Al Gore heats up discussion of climate change crisis: Nobel Prize winning former U.S. Vice President Al Gore lays out his plan for solving the world climate change crisis at the 2009 Miami Book Fair International.

Margaret Atwood thinks the unthinkable and takes 'the pledge': Margaret Atwood tweets, blogs, reads, and even sings through her 3-month, 7-country book tour all the way to the Miami Book Fair International where she closes the book on 'Year of the Flood' and takes 'the pledge.'

John Grisham receives first-ever National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award: Bestselling author John Grisham receives the first-ever National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award and tells the story behind his stories in an interview with Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley.

John Hodgman and Larry Wilmore get the truth out about fake news and book blurbs: Two of today's top TV cutups, 'Daily Show' fake news correspondents John Hodgman and Larry Wilmore take the stage at the Miami Book Fair International 2009 to air dirty laundry, razz each other over book blurbs, and talk about their careers in comedy.

David Small and Byron Pitts unscramble their hardscrabble youths with A.J. Jacobs: Award-winng children's book author David Small and Byron Pitts, Chief National Correspondent and Conributing Correspondent for 60 Minutes at CBS News, join diarist A.J. Jacobs in unscrambling how their hardscrabble childhoods contributed to their success.

Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons toots his horn: The Big Man himself showcases his book, his sax, his life among the legends at BookExpo America 2009.

Nobel Laureates lead large flock of authors in annual migration to Miami, Nov 8-15: Several hundred world-class and emerging authors will flock to the 2009 Miami Book Fair International where they will read to and talk with many thousands of book lovers of all ages, Nov. 8-15.

Gail Collins traces the triumphs and defeats 'when everything changed': New York Times political op-ed columnist Gail Collins describes the evolution of an essay she wrote that grew into two volumes covering 450 years of women's history in America.

Bob Schieffer mixes poems and politics, from Nixon to Obama, and comments on his commentaries: CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer appears at the 2008 National Book Festival a few weeks before the 2008 election to promote his book 'Bob Schieffer's America' and offer commentary on the social and political landscape.

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