The Literarian Award, 2011
Mitchell Kaplan to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards
at the 2011 National Book Award Ceremony
The National Book Foundation bestowed the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community on Mitchell Kaplan, a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International, the largest book fair in the country, at the 62nd National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner at Cipriani, Wall Street, in New York City on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.
Born in Miami, Florida, Mitchell Kaplan is best known for the creation of the Miami Book Fair International, the largest community book festival in the United States and a model for book fairs across the country.
Kaplan began his working career as a high school English teacher. Two years after opening an independent bookstore, Books & Books, Kaplan, along with the Dade County Library and other independent bookstore owners, was asked by the president of the downtown Wolfson campus of the Miami-Dade College, Eduardo J. Padrón, to help put on a book fair, originally called "Books by the Bay."
Kaplan emerged as one of the influential leaders of the Fair that has created community pride and has become a model for other fairs across the country. The Fair brings over 300 renowned national and international authors exhibitors to a weeklong celebration of all things literary and includes pavilions for translation, comics, children, and young adults.
In addition to overseeing five bookstores, including one located in Grand Cayman, Kaplan serves as the Chair of the Miami Book Fair Board of Directors and on the steering committee of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, Miami-Dade College's literary center. He has served as President of the American Booksellers Association, and on the Board of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. He lives in Miami with his wife, Rachelle, and their twin sons, Jonah and Daniel, and their daughter, Anya.
Presenting the Award, Walter Mosley
Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 36 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.