Brickell Avenue Literary Society (BALS) has been bringing Miami book lovers up close and personal with the world’s most renowned authors for more than three decades.
Now celebrating its 31st anniversary, BALS has announced a new season of Lunch with Authors, which launched on Sept. 26, with novelist Salman Rushdie, who spoke about his new book, Quichotte, shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
More than a traditional book club, BALS presents notable authors who discuss their books and answer questions over a lunch buffet at Temple Israel of Greater Miami. The venue offers ample parking and events are held during lunchtime to accommodate everyone from busy professionals and moms, to retirees. Each author event includes a signed copy of the book.
BALS was founded in 1988 by Ray Marchman Jr., who worked at Northern Trust, and Miami Today publisher and editor-in-chief Michael Lewis, now a BALS director. Marchman, who still serves as an advisor on the board, approached Lewis about creating BALS after attending a literary society event in New York. BALS was such a huge success from the start, that the organization had to open wait lists for memberships and attracted authors and luminaries from all over the world.
Since then, BALS has grown exponentially and continues to serve the South Florida community. With hundreds of book-loving members, BALS has hosted more than 200 novelists, historians, memoirists, journalists, poets, and playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Adam Johnson; George Saunders, recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award, the Folio Prize and a MacArthur “Genius Grant;” Amor Towles and John Updike, among many others.
Books & Books founder Mitch Kaplan serves as an advisor on the board and is instrumental in bringing the leading authors of our time to BALS.
Annual memberships start at $250 for an individual and $95 for young professionals, and are fully tax-deductible. Non-members are welcome to attend up to two literary events per season and are only required to pay the event fee, which is $50 per person; $30 for young professionals 35 and under.
The BALS 2019-20 Season:
Friday, Oct. 18 — Jeannette Winterson (longlisted for the Booker Prize)
Friday, Nov. 22 — Richard Russo, Chances Are;
Wednesday, Dec. 18 — Mamta Chaudhry, Haunting Paris;
Thursday, Jan. 16 — Jaquira Diaz, Ordinary Girls;
Thursday, Feb. 13 — Jeannine Cummins, American Dirt;
Wednesday, Mar. 18 — James McBride, Deacon King Kong, and
Thursday, Apr. 16 — author to be determined.
The Lunch with Author events are conducted from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, located at 137 NE 19th St. in Miami. For memberships, event tickets and for more information, visit www.brickellliterary.org.