The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival

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AJC Decatur Book Festival

A look at the festival's highlights

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The 10th annual AJC Decatur Book Festival brings more than 600 authors to downtown Decatur on Labor Day weekend, providing an embarrassment of literary riches. All for free.

How is a bibliophile to choose? We’re here to help you focus. Among the festival’s highlights are appearances by Erica Jong, Roxane Gay, Samuel R. Delany, Damon Tweedy, Amy Stewart and Ebola survivor Kent Brantly.

Read on for details and these authors and more of the best of the fest.

Author interview

Erica Jong is still sexing up her satire with ‘Fear of Dying’

Erica Jong is still sexing up her satire with ‘Fear of Dying’

Ever since she published “Fear of Flying” in 1973, Erica Jong has been associated with the philosophies of the free love movement from that era. The irony is that Jong’s book is a satire. She was never a proponent of casual sexuality.

“A lot of people missed the comedy of that,” Jong said via telephone from her apartment in New York.


Personal Journeys

Cat Cora
Food Network

'Cooking as Fast as I Can'

Childhood trauma spurred chef Cat Cora to be fearless. Read an excerpt from her upcoming memoir, exclusive to the AJC.

I spent the first week of my life at the Mississippi Children’s Home, waiting to be adopted. My name then was Melanie. The word means dark in Greek, and referred to my brown hair, my deep brown eyes.

My birth mother was 16 when she got pregnant with me. It was 1967. Whatever free-love thing was happening in other parts of the country in the late ’60s, it was not happening in Greenwood, Miss.


Personal Journeys

Jim Auchmutey

The scapegoat

On a cool morning in early May, Greg Wittkamper got in his Subaru Outback and started up the gravel road leading from his house in the mountains of southern West Virginia. He was going to check his post office box in the nearest town, Sinks Grove, as he did almost every day. Mixed in with the usual bills and business correspondence was a letter he had never expected to see: an invitation to his high school reunion.

Personal Journeys

Contributed by Penguin Random House

Called for Life

Dr. Kent Brantly was a medical missionary with Samaritan's Purse, living with his wife, Amber, and their children in war-torn Liberia. While working at ELWA hospital, where only one Ebola patient out of dozens had survived, he began to run a fever.

"Kent, bud. We got your test result. And I'm really sorry to tell you that it is positive for Ebola."

I had not expected to hear those words despite the mounting evidence over the past three days — the worsening symptoms, the repeated negative malaria tests — that would have led me to suspect Ebola had I been the doctor rather than the patient.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys: True confession of a crime writer

True confessions of a crime writer

Amanda Kyle Williams put the North Georgia mountains in her rearview mirror and pointed her banged-up Dodge Neon toward the lights of Atlanta. It was Thanksgiving, 2004, and her heart was joyful from a sumptuous turkey dinner with older brother Scott and his family.

As she chugged south on I-75,  she thought about her niece Anna, Scott’s 4-year-old daughter, who’d been adopted from China. The girl looked Chinese but already drawled like Elly May Clampett. Appearances, the 47-year-old aspiring writer knew, were deceiving.


Chef Hugh Acheson shares recipes and thoughts from “The Broad Fork”

Chef Hugh Acheson shares recipes and thoughts from “The Broad Fork”

Maybe best known as the “Top Chef” judge with the single eyebrow, stylish outfits and sardonic wit, Hugh Acheson is a very busy and increasingly famous man.

The Canadian-born, Athens, Ga.-based chef and author currently has four Georgia restaurants: Five & Ten and the National in Athens, Empire State South in Atlanta and the Florence in Savannah.


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