tv Mitchell Kaplan Responds to Viewer Calls CSPAN November 21, 2016 7:15am-8:01am EST
>> it sounds like a painful process. >> a few moments of joy. like this one. >> i did want to congratulate you on being one of the 10 favorites of the year. >> thank you. [applause] >> time for questions, folks. the lineup. >> there are microphones if you have any questions or tape. towr >> we are moving towards the microphone. >> thank you very much for this wonderful book. it was riveting and really important particularly now. i was wondering why you decided to use the mechanism of magical realism after that first
chapter, which seems so realistically real. so what lay behind that? why didn't you just continue a story that was real estate? >> my conception originally is , book where she's going to different parallel countries. i'm not in historical novelist and one day i will write an historical novel but it's not something that occurs to me. i couldn't bring in germany and several experiments and late 19th century lynching protocols in a book that wash t. about 1950. it allowed me to have that play with time with different historical events in conversation with each other.er it never occurred to me to play
astray. if i played it straight it would be totally different but cannot it's interesting to me as a writer. >> thank you. >> your book was very powerful. my question is did you know when you started writing the book how the ad particularly her mother? >> is a linear story of the book that cora and in short sectionsl about maple, caesar, the slave catcher. >> to do women really well. >> and make us how to structure in different states. it seems like they were addition in for their sections. back after the north carolina section, should martin or as should martin r. us will get their section? i forgot it. figuring out where to move different sections around.
about two thirds of the way through, i decided i would have maple and their and i decided i would be most traumatic place to put it. >> yes it would. thank you. >> hi. i've read all your books. i was wondering what is your favorite of your books? ba thanks for reading all those. [laughter] i went back to the earlier ones definitely, thanks. the one i just finished as the one i like the most. this one is definitely brought by way of writing together. the first couple books were what if both that the industrial age of john henry. i i think i have the safety of many years at the underground railroad. and i think i was starting with a character in a situation and
moving into the story.st here i have a what-if premise to a very strong character. it really is the union of two creative strands from me. the culmination for a while. i'll be two pages into my next book and not of been my favorite book. >> thank you so much. >> congratulations. i was so moved and in pain from what you wrote about. and it made me think you mentioned nazi germany and a very established holocaust that is except that in a post-slavery psychological reaction. i would be interested in what you think as the generations go on, with the psychological impact of all that cruelty and
strength. p >> if it persisted page on most than the grandparents generation who still write so many fountains. even though we take this timestamp 40 years ago you had that primal memory of being memy denied. if still present in the incarceration state. and the book idea with slave patrollers with the police force and slave states that a polic policeman and his slave narratives the language they use to describe a showing their free papers on demand is the same language i would use in the times i've been stopped by police, handcuffed and questioned the wrong place ate the wrong time. so you know, land or in section
i read says we are still undergoing its traumas in different ways. it's not slavery, but it's these mechanisms that are still inery. place, which echoes slavery so you don't have to be literally enslaved to feel subjugated. like i said, even before theer r election, i think we've had a set that, but we are moving slowly forward.joanna >> hi, my name is joanna. i'm in and the eastern end and currently i'm writing my own historical fiction, so i have two questions for you. if they're too heavy, i'll try to be slow. so as a young woman writing about historical fiction in the 1920s and its interracial romance is very hard and very hefty.
how was your experience writingo the underground railroad reading the accounts you have a someone of color and how are you able to separate yourself from being emotionally involved and also, like i sai and 21 and i'm very young. one of the things you at your hp is so accomplished. it's very hard for people like me to come up. i guess my question is are you ever too young? >> ever too young?rly 20 no. i didn't think any kind of writer and tell us in my early 20s.in i try to addition for creative writing was turned down eachfor time. turns out it was good training for being a writer. you internize everyone hates you and you get used to it. the tough enough for later on. my apprenticeship in writing was for a newspaper and so every
week your writing and gettingfft better. and so, as a writer is paying my bills doing it. i think you're 21, a lot of books have been important to you to figure out why they are important. read the authors you like to see what kind of writer you want to be an right to find out what kind of writer you actually are. in terms of the difficulty dealing with heavy material, the more research i did, the more horrified i got having an adult acquaintance with slavery and how bad it was obviously i'm just imagining my main ancestors going through it and they died in georgia or florida, somewhere. i have no idea. they're sort of loss. so realizing is going to have to put cora threw many terrible things like the one that opens
the book is very daunting. but going back to the early question about starting with a realistic section and go into the fantasy.pay before i started forming a reality i wanted to pay it straight, to pay tribute to my ancestors and everyone else who went through slavery. as much as i could testify for them. so how i dealt with it, it was a terrible thing on the page and at 3:00 p.m. i would knock outwo and start looking at "the new york times" website for recipes to make for dinner. i would make dinner and go to t. bed. >> well, i want to thank you for the voice of young people of color like me. >> that's very kind. thank you. >> we have been allowed to go a little bit longer on this one, but i ask you both to have short
questions. you might have to have a short answer. >> i just want to know how and when you first learned about the underground railroad. fourt >> for 38th grade. i remember having the moment like the railroad that's crazy. it wasn't actually lead role. it stayed with me obviously. >> with the idea of having cesar working is just incredible.he my question is when he went the first time to fletcher's, and how they are talking about finally escaping and the one. there is one short line in there that i thought was a stroke of genius and i don't know if youkn personally managed that line in there or if it was the grace of god or if it is just me to read it. they're working out this very difficult idea of the escape. he said the dog passed gas.
it was just incredible because it broke attention, but at the same time it made you realize why the heavy decisions are being made, something as simple as life. >> if i can get a good and never book, i'm really excited. >> where's waldo.at they' >> but what they are talking about an assertive absurdity of life in the mud and things going on. but having moments like that in their, i don't think that's one of the key lines in the book, but every sentence is fair, hopefully doing its job. i remember why i put that in there. thank you. [applause]>> thank >> we thank you so much for
coming. we think mr..se he will be signing books around the corner. you can buy your book and you must if you have a red because it's fabulous right outside this room. thank you very much. if you are staying for the next session, you may keep your seat. [inaudible conversations]this ya >> colson whitehead is the winner this year's national book award for fiction. the ceremony will air on booktv tonight at 10:00 p.m.
a few more segments left in our coverage of the 33rd annual miami book fair. in about 20 minutes or so you will hear from maureen dowd who was here earlier talking about her book, the year of voting dangerously. in the meantime, one of the cofounders of the miami book fair and the owner of books and books bookstores here in the miami area, mitch kaplan. what was one of the highlights of the festival for you this year? >> i first have to say before i tell you that, this is always one of the highlights to come and see you and be walking down the street and see you at interviewing all the authors that are here. it really shows the diversity of what we do at the book fair. i have to say for me what was so important as the incredible conversation that went on day in and day out, david were we just came having an election, which was we have a divided country
and hearing people really beus engaged in serious discussion from the authors stage into the audience. that for me showed me that this book fair is really a necessary thing for civic engagement, for community and augment. >> you're the host of quite a big event last night. >> that is something.be we at ernest sanders here. he has become an event. we probably could've filled up one of the stadiums. >> do you get calls from friends or neighbors who want tickets? how do you do that? >> the tickets were free. i'm smart enough after all these years i just don't answer the phone when i see that happening. >> we are going to spend a th little time talking about books and bookselling. if you want to talk about what you're reading, we want to hear from you, too. ye
748-8200 and eastern and central time zone. 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain pacific time. we will leave the numbers up so you can call in. we've been running during this festival, we have been running the bestsellers that we got from your staff there. one of them is jd events is hillbilly elegy. why is that caught on do you think? >> well, i think it, and clearly because of what was going on during the election. i think people who live in a city like miami which is so urban want to really understand exactly what was going on and why people were so dissatisfied and what was happening in communities that are not communities like miami. i think jd fans really touched a nerve by writing that book. he's basically led people here
in such a crazy city like miami understand what was happening in another part of the country. >> what's on your current reading list? >> well, books that i've read recently that i'm just in i'm just in love with is the book rate by paul galante, which is called when breath because they are. i'm sure you've covered it on the show. it is a book that i came to a little late, but it was about a stanford dr. who discovered he had cancer and he wrote this while he was going through the whole treatment in everything. he went back to becoming a doctor, but he wrote it so poignant they been so beautifully and artfully that it just sort of made you so empathetic for what he was going through that it became a cathartic experience for me actually.
>> that's been on a lot of bestsellers list. >> i'm sure it has. >> a lot of people don't know and realize that booksellers are often reading things that are not out yet. that is kind of what i'm doing. i am reading a book was a great great book called four, three,oe two, one. basically what he has done is he has written kind of his grand opening. it is the story of a young boy who grows up and you go through his life. but it's kind of a little bit like sliding doors. each chapter is 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4.4. it's the same characters leaping forward in distinct playas and it's a very interesting day paul has done, but is written this marvelous, marvelous book coming out in january. >> is he someone you know him
personally? >> i have known him over the years. probably one of america's great writers. >> as a bookseller, you you read the book. what does that do to your ordere >> we're actually going to do an event with paul in february. they're interesting event for its going to be called music, magic and meet us. paul's daughter is an amazing singer songwriter. also there are magicians that he's befriended because of other books he's written. we are going to do an evening of music, said metric from some of the musicians and paul giving a reading as well.l. it is kind of the way of giving us a complete pace of who paulta is.. >> what are the books over the years that she found the years to achieve under the years that she found her order that she'd missed the book on? >> these days if you under orde> you can get it the next day. you can under order sent in, if you're asking me, the larger
question is what are books that have taken me by surprise? in that sense, there's a lot of them. i mean, you can start with harry potter for instance. the very first harry potter had a modest printing believe it or not. it went on to sell what it sold. there are lot of those books i could think over the years they just completely, completely surprised me. tony boardgame in its first book. we knew it would be good. b nobody knew it would become the phenomenon that it became. that happens a lot. the books that you really find is that it is about word of mouth. it really is about the book. sometimes they are slow to develop in those ways. i remember when john grisham wrote his first book and it is about is published by a very
small price and then all of a sudden he exploded. fun for red october, one that goes way back was a book that was printed with a very smallsml print. so you know, it's the kind of i democratic democracy of reading, which is so wonderful i think it's >> you mentioned anthony mention boardgame. ducote books sell well? >> they do for certain they do sell well. the beauty of tony spoke was of. less than a cookbook. in this kitchen confidential. it's really about what happens in the kitchen, which is why itu did so well. if we started off as just ath quick book of mine out of done what it did.no market by more of being someone in the kitchen so to speak.>> >> mitch kaplan, you mention hunt for red october. tom of course i'm blanking on his name right now.ht
those are books that were made into movies. does that happen a lot with books? >> yeah, it does. one of the things that i've done this sort of develop a new muscle after 35 years as a bookseller is i've started a film production company. we're about to start a film based on a book that is a marvelous book called the man who invented chris nissen is about charles dickens and thee making of a christmas carol written by les stanford gave many people don't know this, but the christmas carol was probably and is probably the best selling self published book coverself pb because charles dickens helped publish it. he was in a bad, bad way when not working now. he couldn't find a publisher for it. so last told the story of badth and then how that book created their modern concept of christmas. charles dickens became a superstar and all of that and
were making a movie in the going to be shot in dublin in about three weeks. we have dan stevens and christopher plummer starring and we have jonathan pryce starring as well. so that is one and i recommend that book incredibly. and then there's another one that many of your listeners have heard of i'm sure of that currency potato peels sievert night mary ann schaeffer who died unfortunately. that is the book we are doingg starring the late james who also was in downtown abby and cinderella and is being directed by a wonderful director who did four weddings and a funeral in studio canal is funding it. we have a company based in adelaide. people out there really know what they're doing. i'm in a very unique position as a bookseller that i see books that are very gallant and early
stage so i can kind of pick and choose. >> at some point they talk about buying the rights to a book. >> it's kind of what we do. we optioned the rights for a particular period of time anden then you have that period of time to get the book made. >> well, let's hear from janet calling in from poland made. europe with mitch kaplan in the miami book fair.i book >> high. sarah, i recently read two books that were very provocative. one was kane river and the other is our father by paul jarrell. i wonder if you're familiar witi this book gave you new -- >> i am indeed familiar with it. >> jinnah, why did those booksos
affect you? >> because it gave me a new day of how african-americans may feel about the south. >> well, that's fantastic. if you like that look, there is a book you should really read called between two worlds which is a memr also by an african-american gentleman who wrote about his growing not in his experience as an african-american man living in this country. >> and he wrote it as a letter to his son. >> he did indeed. it is after ferguson in fact he decided to write this letter to his son and it went on to sell millions of copies. >> national book award winner io 2015 for nonfiction. we were just listening to colson whitehead on his reimagining of the underground railroad. hgi have you picked that one up?un
>> i have indeed. colson is kind of a favorite of so many of us books dollars because as you can see from what just happened, he reads so well and speak so articulately and is such a good guy as well. so a lot of colson's books have started as kind of indy bound favorites. those of you out there who want to vote towards finding a book that you might often enjoy, the american booksellers association sponsors what is called in the next ann coulter's book was the number one pick actually. so every month independent booksellers from around the country submit their favorite books from the galleys that we've read in colson spoke with a number one pick. so yeah, it's a remarkable story and it struck a nerve in this
country at this time. >> around this time of year,osta observed that viewers on television will see mitch kaplan. how will they see you on networ? television? >> well, it is very funny. i was filmed for an american express shop small business saturday. they keep running back marshall and i've heard from elementary school and it is an opportunity to plug small business saturday. read a bookseller i'm also a small business person and everyone out there out to make sure that you really do spend your dollars for the holidays in your local small businesses as well. >> how many books are there in south florida? >> we have five. they are small, and that we have one we just open your glove codebooks and bikes and we
opened up a books and bikes are together. it's in an area of miami called winwood and it's been a lot of fun having that. we also have a graffiti artist named lipo. dim of atari sports announcers brother and he's got a gallery within our space as well. >> david and siena, virginia. you're on with mitch kaplan. >> mr. kaplan, my wife and i just went to spain and visited barcelona and a friend recommended that we read carlos ruiz fund shadow of the wind which was just fantastic and we wondered if you had read it and what you think of it.t >> david, what was said about the book that grabbed you? >> is taking so again. it has strange characters in these descriptions are much like charles dickens. >> you're absolutely right.
it's also about books. it's a book that booksellers i l buzzed.ov thank you for bringing it to our attention. >> christine, guilford, new hampshire. hi, christine. >> hi, hello. am i speaking to mitchell kaplan? >> you are. hi, christine.. >> i come to mitchell. i knew you back in the 90s. i was a faculty member and a very dedicated book fair at that time and help to recruit lots and lots of volunteers in that capacity. i just wanted to say after 10 years in the middle east and now live in new hampshire. i just want to comment how important independent bookstores are in new england. i live in new hampshire and we don't have anything left here at
the big guys. there is one barnes & noble in manchester and one in portsmouth , but nothing within a couple hours of where i lived. but there are some wonderful, wonderful at independenty bookstores. that's the only place i buy books. i don't do anything on mine and i i learned that he appeared >> thank you for your help in the early days of the book fair. i'm glad you're getting a chanc to watch it. new england is really, really of players where there's been a resurgence of independent bookselling.g. i could go on for two hours about all the remarkable bookstores in new england and it's great to see younger people opening bookstores. there was a meme a few years ago that the physical book was dad and i think this book fair and bookstores have shown that his no longer at all anywhere near being accurate.
>> when this festival began 33 years ago, how did it start? >> well, great story. downtown miami was very different than it is today. my unit is very different. it was a very rough time. riots in the streets. we had just had this gigantic influx of people from cuba, for mary l. have been. randy was suffering. there is a "time" magazine article titled miami paradise fall. early 80s. people weren't sure what was going to happen here. i got a call with a couple of other booksellers from dr. eduardo petrone was a purse no hero of mine who is coincidentally going to be receiving. >> first of all, president of miami dade college. >> which is the largest college in the country with 150,000
students over at eight campuses. eduardo was the president did just this one campus at the time and he's going to be getting the presidential medal of freedomm this coming week and we could work through it. is there another kind takes over. eduardo called if your effectiveness at how many know, we want to do some thing to highlight downtown miami. he had just come from thee barcelona book festival and had seen what you folks are really do. i was a young bookseller. i've been up in two years. i needed serious bucks are being rented miami and i had a lot of states that could support thisd kind of affair.fr from the beginning, the hallmark of the miami book fair with something for everyone. we know is that in a diverse community. the entire community because it. this year so many years later we have programs in rio, programs
in spanish, programs and french. it's remarkable to see how the book fair has grown to serve the kind of original vision that we have. >> mitch kaplan, do breaker -- [inaudible] >> do breaker is a book i can't more highly recommend. it's a hard breaking book. for those of you who don't know, run out and learn all about it. she's a young haitian writer who chronicles in fiction, nonfiction and now children's books. she chronicles her own experience as well as fix. deborah family as well as experience of what has happened and what is happening now and in haiti. she is one of our treasures here in miami. >> was different and avery island, louisiana.
you're an old tv. go ahead. >> hi, mitch. i love your stored in miami and other independent bookstores. i am wondering though, some authors who can't get the bookbk published or can't reach an agent for various reasons and end up publishing via amazon. i know that necessarily booksellers have an unambiguous relationship with amazon because they are eating your lunch ing many ways or have read. if somebody has about publishedd by amazon, do you sell them through your bookstores or how does that work? >> well, i should let you know that amazon is just one of the places where people can self publish. there are other self-publishing platforms you can find on theete internet including bark and others where you don't have to
sell through amazon. amazon is very proprietary when it comes to that. what we do do is if tre is aat local author who has published their amazon and they are doing an event at the store, we will have those authors into the store and we will carry theirl books as well. but i do encourage people to look across all of the spectrum of self-publishing before you make your choice. >> arbor, newark, new jersey. go ahead. >> hi, mitch. i love your black and white kingdom check shared. very fashionable. i like the last caller and self published and i've gotten some five star reviews. have you ever heard of people self-publishing been banned from getting -- the more commercial because they are so
controversial? >> well, that shouldn't have been. if you look at traditional publishing houses, everybody would agree that there isn't anything too controversial. everything gets published. the idea would be to show that you do have a market, evenha beyond the reviews. in fact, publishers actually look at the published authors as you know for the big selling self published authors and they often bring them over to their publishing houses and publish them more globally as well. >> mitch kaplan, one of your h regular customers, jeb bush. >> yes. he is. you know, it's really interest him he recently after he got off
the campaign trail have recommended to me one of his really close associate namedss hallie bradshaw who was the left that campaign trail and in a sense left politics in that way. just open a marvelous new bookstore that i have to recommend to everybody. sally is a remarkable person and whose train is to have a bookshop in tallahassee didn't have an independent bookstores and so she opened one up there. the mackie college matthew -- >> sally came down and we spoke and it was wonderful. one of the things that is more of a gray beard is wonderful to see new pete will get into this business because i believe bookstores are so important to
communities and to see more and more bookstores opening is found and that every bookstore of us to see. >> can be seen in a tick in sales of the the deal are in it, comes looks? >> i really haven't. i seen an uptick in books about donald trump and you've had many of the authors on whether it a making of donald trump or revealed. people want to understand him. but the art of the deal has not sold more for us. >> mitch kaplan, cofounder of the miami book fair, owner of books and books here in miami. we appreciate the hospitality and your coming and having a chat with us to close out her life outcast here.
>> after the spread of the cotton gin in the late 1790s amid the international cotton trade it loaded. the u.s. exported million pounds of pot in 1800. it was exported 2 billion pounds by 1860. cotten represented 60% of what the u.s. was exported to the world and it was 40% of what was going out of new york harbor. it is a huge deal. the next that is commodity was tobacco in it is less than 10%. so cotton threads tied new york tied new york and they tied new york in the senate together i believe in a long and codependent relationship. the cotton socks, plantation south in new york city for together. the explosive growth of the cotton plantation street across the south, across the deep south was largely funded by new york banks because that's robbed banks for. of course he came to new york
for your friend to. the new york merchant supplied the plan as with everything everything for the pianist in parlors to plowshares to the clothes they put on their slaves. new york not only ship a significant portion of cotton, but new york harbor was where the ships came back filled with european goods do not a new york important to washington d.c. or washington city is people called it back then. it had a big impact on the federal government because the government should choose large portions of revenues from the customs house of new york harbor. there is a period where the entire federal budget was coming from the customs house in new york city. it wasn't just the bankers and the shipping magnets who profited from cotton in new york city. thousands and thousands of workers were direct you indirectly profiting. dockworkers obviously, but also
shops. people who work in the hotels in the game than houses in the restaurants in the were lots of plantation owners would come up in the summer entreat new york city as their home away from home during the summer. everybody was in various ways dependent on maintaining the cotton trade, which means they sought in the best interest to maintain the plantation system and slavery. new york workers also fear that if the 404 million people enslaved in the south were suddenly set free, they would all come flooding at birth and take their jobs away. the big irony there is that the 12,000 free blacks in new york city, the exact opposite was going on. white workers took their jobs and throws them out of the unions. there wasn't going to be a problem with fighting for their jobs against black workers. so because of cotton and because of that enormous economic ties
to the continent's outcome the majority of new yorkers are pro-south and anti-abolition. they were in effect what people call copperheads at the time, northerners sympathetic to the south. it is also worth mentioning that the transatlantic slave trade was a direct effect on slavery in the country because they sent being brought into the united states by that point. there is still a huge trans-atlantic slave trade and chipset in new york were picking people up in africa and taking them to be slaves in cuba and brazil and places like that. congress had declared this piracy which was a hanging offense as early as 1820 and then everybody turned a blind eye. it was an open secret that new yorkers were investing in slave ships and the prophets were enormous. many, many slave ships were fitted out in new york harbor
and got out of new york harbor under the eye of the harbor master's. if they were caught from the slave ship captains which didn't happen very often because the u.s. navy was like a dozen ships in the atlantic is pretty big. but if a slave ship captain got caught but got caught but shouldn't happen very often and brought to trial, it was very, very rare for him to get convict did. for that half the time they never made it to the trial. their relatives about the jail. judges and juries were notoriously lenient with them. if they were convicted and sentenced to anything, could be sentenced to two months or four months in jail opposed to being hung. in the home on his tree of new york's involvement in the atlantic slave trade, only once they ship cap in this other hand for it and i was because he had the bad luck to get cut after lincoln was in the white house