The 2017 AJC Decatur Book Festival will address the vital role journalism plays in today’s continuously shifting society where the press faces pushback from the current political administration and the threat of fake news. Fittingly, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will increase its role with the festival by having many of its contributors and staff moderate the festival’s discussions.
The festival will kick off with the keynote presentation headlined by National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone. Gladstone will spearhead a panel discussion of journalists, and the conversation will center around the crucial role journalism plays in today’s world of political change and increasing doubt from the public. Among the panel’s participants are New York Times editor Carolyn Ryan and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from The Washington Post, Wesley Lowery. The panel will be moderated by Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, September 1, at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Gladstone will also speak individually at the festival on her new book The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time.
This year, the second annual Judy Turner Prize will be awarded to Hannah Palmer and Mark Pendergast. The authors and their works share a focus on Atlanta’s complex history with urban development and the implications our past has on our future. Palmer’s book, Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport, stems from her personal experiences growing up in Atlanta’s shifting landscape of Atlanta. Pendergast’s City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future centers on the dynamics between Atlanta’s developing urban landscape and the community that lives in it. The prize will be awarded prior to the authors’ presentation “The Impact of Changing Atlanta.” The presentation takes place at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, September 2, in the Decatur Library.
art|DBF honors the imperative role the arts — literary, visual and performative — play in enriching the Atlanta community. art|DBF works to sustain the captivating quality of Atlanta’s vibrant arts community through directly connecting audiences with the creators and their works. This year art|DBF is curated by ArtsATL and promotes the importance of art across all disciplines.
Actor, director, comedian, producer and young reader author Henry Winkler will present at the AJC Decatur Book Festival Kidnote. 5:00 p.m., Friday, September 1, at the Decatur High School Performing Arts Center.
Charles Frazier returns to Atlanta to honor the 20th anniversary of his historical novel and winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, Cold Mountain. 11:15 a.m., Saturday, September 2, in the Marriott Conference Center B.
John T. Edge delves into the Southern and race-related roots of American culinary identity in his book The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South. 12:30 p.m., Saturday, September 2, in the Marriott Conference Center A.
Georgia Public Broadcasting host Celeste Headlee argues the importance of having those necessary and more difficult conversations in We Need to Talk. 4:15 p.m., Saturday, September 2, in the First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary.
The New Yorker staff writer Elif Batuman explores the precarious nature of coming into adulthood in her novel The Idiot. 4:15 p.m., Saturday, September 2, in the Marriott Conference Center B.
Denise Duhamel discusses the multifaceted dimensions of feminism and the challenges of the movement in her collection of poems, Scald. Duhamel will be presenting “Poetic Identity” with Ashley Jones at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, September 2, in the Decatur Recreation Center Studio.
Sara Camp Milam and Jerry Slater demonstrate how to concoct their creations from Southern Foodways Guide to Cocktails. 5:30 p.m., Saturday, September 2, at the Cooking & Food Stage.
Erika L. Sanchez explores life on either side of borders, both physical and figurative, in Lessons on Expulsion. Sanchez will be presenting with Earl Braggs at 12:00 p.m., Sunday, September 3, in the Decatur Recreation Center Studio.
Bestselling author Thrity Umrigar examines the intersecting relationships of race, class and privilege through her text Everybody’s Son. Umrigar will be presenting with Lisa Ko at 1:15 p.m., Sunday, September 3, in the Historic Dekalb Courthouse.
Gina Kolata, New York Times science and medicine reporter, relays the story of a family’s perseverance through genetic illness in Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family’s Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them. 2:30 p.m., Sunday, September 3, at the Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary.