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Sunday Living & Arts

Personal Journeys

Joel Slaton on the Doll's-Head Trail
HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

The keeper of Doll's-Head Trail

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The first disembodied doll’s head that started it all mysteriously disappeared.

So did the next several that followed — removed, Joel Slaton suspects, by hikers creeped out by eyes peeping out from trees, or rogue ATV-ers ticked at someone trespassing on their unofficial turf.

Or maybe some savvy folk-art collector was just getting an early jump on things.

Whatever. The ground at Constitution Lakes Park kept giving up new “found” objects and trash.

Arts briefs

Wabi Sabi returns for new round of nurturing dance in great outdoors

Wabi Sabi takes dance into the great outdoors

Even if you’ve never connected to contemporary dance, it’s hard to not be persuaded after witnessing Wabi Sabi perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, with the audience following the dancers to different spots on the manicured grounds for each piece on the program.

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Authors

Joyce Carol Oates

Oates discusses Frost, fame and Twitter

In Joyce Carol Oates’ provocative “Lovely, Dark, Deep,” the title story from her new collection, an aged Robert Frost gives a sharp rejoinder on literary festivals. “If I’m not the show, I don’t go,” says Frost — an authentic quote, according to the author, though the events of the story are fictional.

Luckily for Atlanta, Oates takes a much more gracious approach when it comes to speaking engagements. The notoriously prolific writer launches her latest release with a keynote address at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, sharing the stage with her Atlanta-based biographer.

» More books: Lev Grossman coming to AJC Decatur Books Festival

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Style

Fashion brands expanding with more plus-size options

Fashion brands expanding with more plus-size options

Everybody needs clothes, but clothes aren’t always designed to flatter every body.

In the United States alone, more than half of women identify as plus-sized, which typically means they wear a size 14 or larger. Yet their spending traditionally has accounted for less than a quarter of women’s clothing purchases, largely due to apparel options that are deemed poor in fit and quality or unimaginative in their style sense.

Books

‘What is Visible’ fictionalizes true story of Helen Keller’s precursor

Seeing the universe through touch

Few public figures can top Helen Keller’s lasting fame, even if she’s mostly remembered as the tempestuous 7-year-old in “The Miracle Worker” whose teacher spells “water” into her hand at an outdoor pump. She and the scene are an iconic piece of American history.

But before Keller, another deaf-blind child once accomplished feats just as miraculous and as widely renowned: Laura Bridgman, who acquired the use of language 50 years earlier.

» Read: An excerpt from 'What Is Visible' | Also reviewed: 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage'

Travel

A festival for bourbon lovers

A festival for bourbon lovers

For bourbon enthusiasts, September in Kentucky means one thing — the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Most of the world’s bourbon is made in and around Bardstown, just 35 miles south of Louisville, earning the small town the moniker “Bourbon Capital of the World.”

» Practical travel: Finding deals on upscale hotels


Food

Lifelong love of eggplant can make a guy picky about it
John Kessler

Lifelong love of eggplant can make a guy picky about it

No other food can elicit as many snarky food metaphors from me as poorly cooked eggplant. In recent weeks, I went to one restaurant and compared an eggplant panini to foam insulation, and then to another where I likened the stuffed eggplant entree to chewing on a mattress.

Maybe I was harsh. Still, badly cooked eggplant can be a depressing thing to encounter in a restaurant.

Buyer's Edge

Southern Made: seaside style year-round

Southern Made: Breezy seaside style

Preston and Barbara Stone lived in an old house (a former schoolhouse) with a big back porch in Mount Pleasant, S.C. After seeing bed swings on porches throughout the Lowcountry, the Stones decided they wanted a porch swing, too. Preston, a medical doctor by day and a Mr. Fixit at home, crafted his first swing in 1990. Neighbors saw it and wanted a swing. So did friends. Two years later, the Stones were in business.

» More: Soda makers add sparkle | Where can I find it?

Movies

Hootchy-kootchy roles or nothing? The state of Hollywood diversity

The lopsided state of Hollywood diversity

When Spike Jonze’s movie “Her” came out last year, it was buzzed about for its dystopic take on a society where people have affairs with their phones and its vision of a near-future L.A. where you could take Metro to the beach.

But “Her” left me feeling unsettled, and it had nothing to do with those horrible high-waisted pants Joaquin Phoenix wore.


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