Atlanta Life and Culture

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Joyce Carol Oates, Pat Conroy at AJC Decatur Book Fest

The ethereal Joyce Carol Oates, a very substantial presence on the literary scene since 1963, has detailed every extreme of the human condition in more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, including the 1987 essay collection, “On Boxing,” considered a landmark of the genre.

Oates, 76, is the keynote speaker at the 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival, a yearly Labor Day weekend event that continues to gather steam. More than 600 authors will speak or appear on panels at this year’s festival and plenty of new elements have been added to the mix, including an outdoor kitchen for cooking demonstrations and a Global Voices “track” that salts the conversation with tales from Iran, India and Mexico.

“Every year we’ve seen growth,” said program director Philip Rafshoon. “Every year we’ve seen new additions come to the festival, new ideas, new activities.”

Along with books and authors, you can find art, music, food, dance, theater and all sorts of entertainments.

Among the other authors represented at the festival is novelist Pat Conroy, who will introduce writers from his new imprint, Story River Books, and preside over a panel concerning literary wedlock called ""Marriage by the Book."

For everything you need to know about the AJC Decatur Book Fest, go to

To look at a sampling of the writers appearing at the event go to

To read more about Pat Conroy and Cassandra King go to

To read more about the Art|DBF, go to

To read more about Art|DBF highlights, go to

To read an interview with William Wegman, author of "Flo & Wendell Explore," go to

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About the Author

Bo Emerson is an Atlanta native and a long-time AJC feature and news writer.