Andy Cohen Makes Miami Book Tour Stop, Talks Real Housewives, Tinder, and Puppy Love

All photos by Carla Torres
Andy Cohen with the Real Housewives of Miami.
Andy Cohen is hitting the road for a tour promoting his new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. The memoir recounts his star-studded adventures of the last 365 days, which means tons of name dropping (he actually states in the introduction he almost called the book Diary of a Name Dropper) and the dirty scoop on the rich and famous who Cohen gets to hang with on the daily.

Last night, fans of Cohen gathered at Villa Azur for Gilt City exclusive book launch and signing party. The guest of the night was of course Cohen himself, who took questions from the audience on anything from what housewife he'd shag, marry, or kill (Nini, Teresa and Vicki, in that order) to who his boy crush (it updates every minute). Miami's Real Housewives were there for support and to mingle with fans who drove from the outskirts of Kendall for a photo opp and a signed copy of Cohen's book.

See also: Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired by Annoyance"

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Morowa Yejidé on Autism and Motherhood: "There's a Language Between Parents"

By Sarah Fillman
There's a universe behind our eyes, says prize-winning short story writer Morowa Yejidé. Her debut novel, Time of the Locust, observes the life and family of Sephiri, a young autistic boy whose mother struggles to support and understand him in the wake of losing her husband to the unforgiving confines of a penitentiary.

According to Yejidé, the meatiest stories take shape in the aftermath of action.

"We might hear about the situation of a particular person or choice that that person made, but that's not the end of the story," says Yejidé. "The other part of the story is the fallout."

See also: Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired By Annoyance"

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Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on New Novel: "The Entire Book Was Inspired By Annoyance"

Dana Patrick
Longtime Seinfeld writer and producer Peter Mehlman aims higher than laughter with his debut novel, as he examines racism, religion, tragedy -- and feet. A reflective social commentary, It Won't Always Be This Great is both comic and poignant. From beginning to end, the novel artfully cultivates a philosophy opposed to spending life in search of concrete answers.

"Why limit yourself?" he asks. Mehlman considers that if things don't make sense, maybe they're not supposed to.

For one Long Island podiatrist, it takes an impromptu act of vandalism just to make him aware of his own being. He stumbles on a bottle of horseradish and hurls it through the window of a popular teen fashion store. This one out-of-character impulse turns his life vivid and terrifying, triggering waves of fear, crooked cops, and suspicions of antisemitism, both accurate and paranoid.

See also: Ben Greenman on Questlove, George Clinton Memoirs: "When It Comes To These Books, You Have To Audition"

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Ben Greenman on Questlove, George Clinton Memoirs: "When It Comes To These Books, You Have To Audition"

Categories: Books, Interview

Courtesy of Okay Player
Ben Greenman and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in NYC.
A great book is like a great song, once it gets in your head, it's in there for the rest of your life. Just ask Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and George Clinton, two of America's greatest living recording artists, and now authors.

Their albums and shows have pushed the creative boundaries of successive generations of sound while consistently maintaining mass appeal. So how does one transcend beyond selling millions of records? The written word.

It's all with the help of co-author Ben Greenman. The Miami native and former New Times reporter penned the New York Times best-selling Mo Meta Blues, for Quest, and Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir for Clinton.

Greenman grew up fishing with his grandpa in Hallandale and graduated from Palmetto High. Here's what he had to say about his favorite stories, spending a year backstage at Late Night, and fishing with George Clinton in Tallahassee.

See also: Jonathan Eig on The Birth of The Pill: "Birth Control Is Not Just a Women's Issue"

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Jonathan Eig on The Birth of The Pill: "Birth Control Is Not Just a Women's Issue"

What's the most important invention of the 20th Century? Is it the telephone? The assembly line? The airplane?

Nope -- it's the birth control pill. That's according to author and journalist Jonathan Eig, whose book, The Birth of The Pill, traces the pill's origins and the risk-taking innovators who pushed through societal barriers to bring it to millions of women worldwide.

Of course, he didn't come to the decision lightly. When he first heard a rabbi make the case for the pill as last century's biggest breakthrough, he thought, "That's nuts." So he decided to investigate, even though it made him a bit of an oddball amongst his peers.

See also: John Waters Talks Carsick, Miami Book Fair International, and His Singing Anus

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John Waters Talks Carsick, Miami Book Fair International, and His Singing Anus

When John Waters arrives in Miami for this year's book fair, it might just feel like home.

Waters, who directed Pink Flamingos and about a dozen other twisted cult films, is known as the Pope of Trash and the Prince of Puke; he's most comfortable at the intersection of gross, glamorous, and grotesque. So it's a real testament to the quality of the Miami Book Fair International that the thing that most excites the King of Bad Taste about this town isn't chonga fashion or drunk tourists puking on Washington Ave. or that one time a guy chewed off another guy's face.

It's the books.

See also: The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International

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Miami Book Fair 2014: Anne Rice Talks Reviving Lestat and Her Love of Miami

Photo by Derek Shapton
What Bram Stoker was to the 18th century, Anne Rice is to the 20th and 21st. Though the latter has dabbled in various themes throughout her writing career and is known for writing about both demons and gods, Rice's legacy all started with a vampire.

He can be hailed as a bit of a vampire brat, as a devilishly handsome creature, and now, Lestat can add the word "prince" to his repertoire.

It has been over a decade since Lestat has had anything to say, but with her latest installment in the Vampire Chronicles series, Prince Lestat, Rice is reviving an old friend and introducing him to modern times.

See also: Book Fair 2014 Includes John Waters, Questlove, Ira Glass, and More

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Robert Mazur on Working Undercover: "Miami Is the Crossroads for the International Drug Trade"

via Robert Mazur on Facebook
Posing in front of his private jet.
Robert Mazur was an undercover federal agent famous for staging a fake wedding, inviting the biggest coke lords and drug bankers in the world to his bachelor party, and arresting them when they showed up.

As mafia leader Bob Musella, he infiltrated the cocaine banking underworld, where black market blood money is laundered fresh and delivered internationally.

Now, his story is going to AMC, where Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is pretending to be him, pretending to be his undercover persona. You can also read the whole story in his book, The Infiltrator -- also the name of the movie, which is going to be shot in Tampa. Here's what Mazur had to say about torching bodies, evils in banking, and cocaine money.

See also: Billy Corben on Cocaine Cowboys Based TV Show: "More Tony Soprano Than Tony Montana"

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Poet Richard Blanco on His New Memoir: "Miami Has Always Been My Muse"

Categories: Books

Jacob Hessler
Anyone who's ever felt they were on the fringes of society knows what it's like to be marginalised and shunned for not fitting in. Richard Blanco experienced that feeling while growing up, and although his popularity as a poet and storyteller allowed him to finally realize his dreams, the road to acceptance was anything but easy. Born in Spain to Cuban parents, he emigrated to the U.S. as child, facing not only the challenge of adapting to a new country and culture, but also having to grapple with his sexual identity at a time when gays were considered well outside the American mainstream.

"I've been exploring questions of cultural identity for years, since my first book of poetry was published in 1998 and through two subsequent collections of poetry," Blanco explains. "However, about five years ago--motivated by my creative curiosity--I decided to try writing prose. And so I began working on what has now become the memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos.  I discovered that prose allowed me to 'unpack' a lot of the stories and questions that I couldn't quite capture in poetry."

Clearly he succeeded. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, describes in bittersweet detail, the anguish, ironies and hardships that this openly gay Latino writer -- and, for that matter, the first openly gay Presidential Inaugural Poet -- was forced to face.

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Cryptic Readings: Miami's Occult Fascination Comes to Life at UM

Michael L. Carlebach Photography Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables
Perhaps one of the creepiest things about scary movies is when they are based on real events. There's nothing more frightening than seeing a horror flick and realizing that art, indeed, imitates life.

As a culture, we've always been fascinated with all things supernatural. Heck, even the word itself sounds more fun to be "super" than just plain "natural."

"I think Miamians are quite open-minded about the possibilities of 'other worlds,'" says Cristina Favretto, director of the Special Collections Department at the University of Miami. "We are so culturally diverse that we're able to entertain the notion that people have very diverse beliefs and a wide variety of views on the afterlife, the spirit realm, etc."

See also: The Four Most Haunted Places in Miami

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