Dan Wakefield talks about Anthony Gagliano

One of my favorite people in the world: Dan Wakefield.

Dan, who introduced me to the world of nonfiction at Florida International University, is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter whose best-selling memoir “New York in the Fifties” was produced as a documentary film.

He spoke tonight in Miami at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach.

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Dan explains the context for this reading:

“My best friend in Miami, who was a student in his classes at FIU, wrote a terrific mystery novel set in Miami (The Straits of Fortune) and tragically died of a stroke at age 54 while finishing his second novel.

“Les Standiford, who is head of the FIU Writing Program was also a friend of this former student, Anthony Gagliano, and Les suggested that he and I finish the writing of the novel that Anthony left behind.

“We did that, and the novel has just been published. It’s called The Emperor’s Club, a thriller set in South Florida.”

At the Betsy, Dan talked about Anthony, a great guy and a great character and also his new book.

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Dan has been the recipient of a Neiman Fellowship in Journalism, the Bernard DeVoto Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Rockefeller Grant for Creative Writing, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught in the writing programs at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Emerson College, The Iowa Writers Workshop, and is presently Writer in Residence at Florida International University in Miami.

His non-fiction books on spirituality include Returning: A Spiritual Journey; Creating from The Spirit; The Story of Your Life: Writing a Spiritual Autobiography, Expect a Miracle, and How Do We Know When It’s God ?: A Spiritual Memoir.

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