The Big Read is a national initiative dedicated to supporting organizations across the country in developing community-wide programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. The Miami Book Fair has been part of The Big Read since its inception by the National Endowment of the Arts 11 years ago, and has brought cultural programming to thousands of South Floridians relating to a variety of titles, including Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and Brother I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat, among other books.
Miami Book Fair remembers the plight of Cambodia’s refugees fleeing the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and celebrates Cambodian culture. This year, we have selected The Big Read title In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience. This New York Times bestselling novel tells the story of Raami, a young girl who comes of age during the Cambodian genocide, and finds strength and resilience by clinging to the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father.
Program activities from March 20, 2017 to April 20, 2017 that will focus on the themes addressed in In the Shadow of the Banyan.