What’s wrong with you, Miami?
I don’t mean The Heat Lightning readers. You are the culture vultures, the exception proving the rule, the cool knot of folks who unwittingly find themselves discussing Kieslowski at a kegger.
Nothing against keggers per se, but the revelry makes it difficult for anyone to see how capable we Miamians are of literary appreciation. Cool elusive wordsmiths like Neil Gaiman and Amy Hempel breeze through San Francisco, New York, and Seattle, yet they pass on the Magic City.
Los Angeles is also a favored stop for touring authors, but I think it’s more in the hopes of a fat movie deal than because of Book Soup. LA-LA Land deserves more author play than Miami? Please. Salman Rushdie loves us. Ondaatje, McInerney, Sontag. We can name drop until the next Man Booker Prize is awarded, but it won’t give us the literary cache we deserve. The big New York publishers see Miami as that fun-loving friend it’s great to party with, but whom they’d be horrified to see date their sister.
David Mitchell, arguably the greatest living fiction novelist, and easily the greatest fiction novelist under fifty, has also toured the usual suspects – San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Boston, Portland. For his next book, a luminous work coming out (in the US, anyway) on June 29 titled, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell is visiting Minneapolis.