Alan Gurganus, “Local Souls.” 2:30 p.m. Aug. 31. Reading, signing. Free. Old Courthouse Stage, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur. decaturbookfestival.com/2014/authors/detail.php?id=799. Gurganus’ latest book revisits the town of Falls, N.C., setting for his “Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All.”
Chelsea Rathburn, Beth Ann Fennelly, Katie Burgess, Sarah Gilbert and Elane Johnson, “Southern Sin.” 1:15 p.m. Aug. 31. Talk, signing. Free. Marriott Conference Center Ballroom A, 130 Clairmont Ave., Decatur. decaturbookfestival.com/2014/schedule/event-details.php?id=693. A diverse array of contributors lend their voices to this steamy new anthology.
Lynn Cullen, “Mrs. Poe,” and Joanna Scott, “DePotter’s Grand Tour.” 3:45 p.m. Aug. 31. Talk, signing. Free. Marriott Conference Center Ballroom A, 130 Clairmont Ave., Decatur. decaturbookfestival.com/2014/schedule/event-details.php?id=799. The authors will discuss the art of personalizing historical fiction.
Tony Earley, “Mr. Tall.” 7 p.m. Sept. 2. Signing. Free. A Cappella Books, 208 Haralson Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-681-5128, acappellabooks.com/event/tony-earley-book-signing. The stories in Earley’s new collection introduce us to the skunk ape (a Southern variant of Bigfoot), the ghost of Jesse James, and a bone-tired Jack the Giant Killer.
David Laskin, “The Family: Three Journeys Into the Heart of the Twentieth Century.” 8 p.m. Sept. 2. Talk, signing. $10. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-814-4150, atlantahistorycenter.com/program/elson-lecture-david-laskin-family-journey-heart-twentieth-century. Laskin’s sweeping epic spans the great upheavals that affected Jews in the 20th century — immigration, two world wars and the founding of Israel — and traces their impact on one family.
Natasha Trethewey, “Native Guard.” 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2. Reading. $8-$10. Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-658-7625, atlantacyclorama.org/ticket-event.php?id=8. Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, the Pulitzer Prize winner and poet laureate confronts the racial legacy of her native South.
Raymond Atkins, “Sweetwater Blues.” 1 p.m. Sept. 6. Book launch. Free. FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 E. Main St., Woodstock. 770-516-9989, foxtalebookshoppe.com/events. In Atkins’ fourth book, two recent high school graduates are involved in a car wreck that kills one of them, while the survivor is given a second chance to make it right.
Wendy Hamand Venet, “A Changing Wind: Commerce and Conflict in Civil War Atlanta.” 2 p.m. Sept. 6. Talk, signing. Free. Tall Tales Book Shop, 2105 LaVista Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-636-2498, talltalesatlanta.com/events.html. Venet explores the experiences of Atlanta’s civilians during the city’s rapid growth, devastation in the Civil War, and rebirth during Reconstruction.
Jan Karon, “Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good.” 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Discussion, reception. Free. Holy Trinity Parish, 515 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-377-2622, acappellabooks.com/event/jan-karon-book-signing. Though Karon bid adieu to Mitford in 2005, her fans refused to accept the end. In the new entry, retired Father Tim returns, only to find himself casting about for a new job.
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