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Celebrating more than 30 years of great author luncheons and literary camaraderie!

EVENTS ~ 

We meet at Temple Israel of Greater Miami; please click here to find Temple Israel on the map.

Each author event carries a per-person charge to cover lunch, a signed copy of the speaker’s book, and parking; for Couples and Individuals, the fee is $50, and for Young Professionals, the fee is $30.


Upcoming events

    • November 22, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Temple Israel | 137 NE 19 Street | Miami, FL 33132
    • 30
    Register

    Richard Russo

    From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo comes Chances Are…, a riveting story about the complex bonds of friendship when three men return to Martha’s Vineyard 40-odd years after college, bringing with them their secrets as well as mystery and suspense. Mr. Russo is the author of eight novels, two collections of stories, and the memoir Elsewhere. In 2002, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which was adapted to film in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.  In 2016, Mr. Russo was given the Indie Champion Award by the American Booksellers Association, and in 2017 he received France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine.

    Chances Are...

    One beautiful September day, three men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today--Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971: the disappearance of the woman each of them loved--Jacy Calloway. Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo's trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . . also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader's heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship's bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.

    For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are . . . is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement.


    Publisher: Knopf 

    Photo credit: Elena Seibert  


    *** Registration closes Nov. 19, 2019 ***



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    • December 18, 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Temple Israel | 137 NE 19 Street | Miami, FL 33132
    • 184
    Register

    Mamta Chaudhry

    A timeless story of love and loss, Haunting Paris takes a mysterious turn when a bereaved pianist discovers a letter among her late lover’s possessions, launching her into a decades-old search for a child who vanished in the turbulence of wartime Paris. Ms. Chaudhry’s fiction, poetry, and feature articles have appeared in such publications as The Illustrated Weekly of IndiaThe TelegraphThe Statesman, and Writer’s Digest.  Haunting Paris is her first novel.

    Haunting Paris

    In the summer of 1989, while all of Paris is poised to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution, Sylvie mourns the loss of her lover, Julien, and is unable to find solace in the music that has always been her refuge. But when she accidentally dislodges an envelope concealed in Julien's desk, she finds an enigmatic note from a stranger and feels compelled to meet this woman who might hold the key to Julien's past. Julien's sister and one of her daughters perished in the Holocaust; but Julien held out hope that the other daughter managed to escape. Julien had devoted years to secretly tracking his niece, and now Sylvie picks up where he left off.

    Sylvie sets out on her quest for knowledge, unaware that she is watched over by Julien's ghost, whose love for her is powerful enough to draw him back, though he is doomed to remain a silent observer in the afterlife. Sylvie's journey leads her deep into the secrets of Julien's past, shedding new light on the dark days of Nazi-held Paris and on the character of the man Sylvie loved.

    Mamta Chaudhry's profoundly moving debut matches emotional intensity with lyrical storytelling to explore grief, family secrets, and the undeniable power of memory, while using vivid imagery and deep historical understanding to capture a city in breathtaking new ways.


    Publisher: Nan A. Talese  

    Photo credit: Daniel Fryer  


    *** Registration closes Dec. 15, 2019 ***



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    • January 16, 2020
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Temple Israel | 137 NE 19 Street | Miami, FL 33132
    • 189
    Register

    Jaquira Diaz

    Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. Drawing from her own struggles, Ms. Diaz embues every page of Ordinary Girls with music and lyricism and maps her journey from despair toward the girl she always wanted to be.

    Ordinary Girls

    For siblings as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s finances hit a snag, sending chaos through the house in a way only characters from a Jane Austen novel could understand, a distance grows between them like never before.

    Plum, a self-described social outcast, finally has something in her life that doesn’t revolve around her dramatic older sister. But what if coming into her own means Plum isn’t there for Ginny when she, struggling with a hard secret of her own, needs her most?


    Publisher: HarperTeen  

    Photo credit: Maria Esquinca   


    *** Registration closes Jan. 13, 2020 ***



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    • February 13, 2020
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Temple Israel | 137 NE 19 Street | Miami, FL 33132
    • 189
    Register

    Jeanine Cummins

    También de este lado hay sueños. On this side too, there are dreams. Already being hailed as “one of the most important books of our times,” Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope. It is a literary achievement, filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity that will leave readers utterly changed. Ms. Cummins is the author of three books: the novels The Outside Boy and The Crooked Branch, and the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven

    American Dirt

    Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic", American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

    If it’s only a better life you seek, seek it elsewhere...This path is only for people who have no choice, no other option, only violence and misery behind you. And your journey will grow even more treacherous from here. Everything is working against you. ―American Dirt

    Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

    Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy―two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

    Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia―trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

    American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.


    Publisher: Flatiron Books  

    Photo credit: Joe Kennedy   


    *** Registration closes Feb. 10, 2020 ***



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    • March 18, 2020
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Temple Israel | 137 NE 19 Street | Miami, FL 33132
    • 188
    Register

    James McBride

    James McBride, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction for The Good Lord Bird, set his newest novel, Deacon King Kong, in tumultuous 1960s Brooklyn.  He weaves a wise and witty tale about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting, showing that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.  An accomplished musician as well as an award-winning author, Mr. McBride is recipient of the National Humanities Medal and Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

    Deacon King Kong

    In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

    The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride's funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

    As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

    Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.


    Publisher: Riverhead Books  

    Photo credit: Chia Messina   


    *** Registration closes March 15, 2020 ***



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    • April 01, 2020
    • April 30, 2020

    Our April 2020 luncheon details are pending at this time. Please check back again soon.


    Updated 9/12/2019

Past events

October 18, 2019 Lunch with Jeanette Winterson
September 26, 2019 Lunch with Salman Rushdie
May 02, 2019 Lunch with John Burnham Schwartz
March 21, 2019 Lunch with Elliot Ackerman
February 14, 2019 Lunch with Madeline Miller
January 18, 2019 Lunch with Min Jin Lee
December 18, 2018 Lunch with Sloane Crosley
November 13, 2018 Lunch with Tayari Jones
October 31, 2018 Lunch with Alexander Chee
September 26, 2018 Lunch with Gary Shteyngart
April 25, 2018 Lunch with Aminatta Forna
April 25, 2018 CANCELED | Lunch with Martha Grimes
March 22, 2018 CANCELED | Lunch with Ayad Akhtar
March 07, 2018 A Conversation About Books & Film with Mitchell Kaplan & Dennis Scholl
February 16, 2018 Lunch with Amor Towles
January 18, 2018 Lunch with Dani Shapiro
December 14, 2017 Lunch with Kevin Young
November 16, 2017 Lunch with Edwidge Danticat
October 26, 2017 Lunch with Andre Aciman
September 27, 2017 Lunch with Alice McDermott
April 19, 2017 Lunch with David Rieff
March 16, 2017 Lunch with Chitra Divakaruni
February 16, 2017 Lunch with Maureen Corrigan
January 19, 2017 Lunch with Aaron Thier
December 12, 2016 Lunch with Michael Chabon
November 04, 2016 Lunch with Alexander Maksik
October 21, 2016 Lunch with Patricia Engel
September 15, 2016 Lunch with Jonathan Safran Foer

Brickell Avenue Literary Society is a 501(c)(3) corporation located in Miami, Florida USA.

Copyright 2019 Brickell Avenue Literary Society, Inc.


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