There is no shortage of literary star power scheduled to appear at the AJC Decatur Book Festival this year. Armistead Maupin, Karin Slaughter, Tayari Jones, Rick Bragg and Charles Frazier are but a few of the authors sure to pack sanctuaries and conference rooms Labor Day weekend. Here are 10 other authors we recommend checking out at the 13th annual event.
David Peisner. The Atlanta journalist’s “Homey Don’t Play That: The Story of ‘In Living Color’ and the Black Comedy Revolution” takes a behind-the-scenes look at Keenen Ivory Wayans’ groundbreaking television show from the 1990s and the stars whose careers it launched, including Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and David Alan Grier. 10 a.m. Decatur Library.
Katharine Weber. In “Still Life With Monkey,” a married couple grapples with the fallout of a devastating accident that leaves the husband paralyzed. Into their strained household comes a helper monkey that competes with the wife for the husband’s attention. 4:15 p.m. Decatur City Hall.
Jeanne Birdsall. The National Book Award winner for young people’s literature talks about the latest in her middle-grade series about a lovable family and their adventures, “The Penderwicks at Last.” She’s paired with Adam Gidwitz, author of the “Unicorn Rescue Society” series, in a panel called “Magic or Not?” 4:45 p.m. Children’s Stage at the Decatur Recreation Center.
Leesa Cross-Smith. The debut novelist’s “Whiskey & Ribbons” is a story of love and loss told from the perspectives of a widow, a police officer and his adopted brother in Louisville, Ky. She’s paired with two other debut novelists, Jamie Quatro, author of “Fire Sermon,” and Kathryn Schwille, author of “What Luck, This Life,” on a panel called “Longings, Passions and Heartaches.” Noon. Historic DeKalb Courthouse.
Jason Reynolds. The National Book Award finalist and middle-grade author talks to Denene Millner, host of GPB’s “A Seat at the Table,” about his novel “Ghost,” which is part of this fall’s “Great American Read” presented by PBS. Noon. YA Stage. Reynolds also appears on the National Book Foundation panel “Democracy and Literature, a Conversation about Civic Education and Why Books Matter with National Book Award Authors.” He will be joined by poet Daniel Borzutzky and author Nancy MacLean. 5 p.m. First Baptist Decatur sanctuary.
David Bottoms. The fall from grace and redemption of a petty criminal in Macon is at the center of the former poet laureate of Georgia’s novel “Easter Weekend.” He’s paired on a panel called “Flawed and Complicated Characters in Southern Stories” with David Joy, author of “The Line That Held Us,” about an accidental death in Appalachia that leads to an act of vengeance. Noon. First Baptist Decatur, Carreker Hall. Bottoms is also paired with Adam Vines on a panel called “Poetry and the Art of Wonder.” 2:30 p.m. First Baptist Church sanctuary.
Xhenet Aliu. Alternating storylines chronicle a mother’s and daughter’s separate attempts to escape dead-end lives among the have-nots in Waterbury, Conn., in Aliu’s debut novel, “Brass.” The Athens author joins Anna Yen, author of “Sophia of Silicon Valley,” in a panel titled “Gumption and Grit: First-Generation Daughters Forging Their Way in America.” 1:15 p.m. Marriott Conference Center C.
Kent Wascom. Set during the lead-up to World War I, family secrets, violence and catastrophic weather drive the plot of “The New Inheritors,” Wascom’s third book in a four-book series about a Gulf Coast family. He joins Nathaniel Rich, author of “King Zeno,” on a panel called “Gulf Breezes: Fiction From a Shared Landscape.” 2:30 p.m. First Baptist Decatur, Carreker Hall.
Rachel Devlin. In “A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America’s Schools,” Devlin celebrates the unsung African-American women who pioneered efforts to desegregate schools several years before the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. 2:30 p.m. Historic DeKalb Courthouse.
Beth Macy. “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America” indicts doctors and a drug company for fueling America’s opioid crisis and offers a compassionate look into the lives of people devastated by the drug. 3:45 p.m. Marriott Conference Center B.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.