Suzanne Van Atten

Suzanne Van Atten joined the AJC in 2006 as an entertainment editor. Currently she edits Personal Journeys and manages the arts and books coverage for the Sunday Living & Arts section. Previously she was associate editor of Creative Loafing Atlanta. She's also a Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist and author of the travel guide "Moon Puerto Rico."

Latest from Suzanne Van Atten

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother
 Tommy Tomlinson is a highly regarded journalist who was a longtime columnist for The Charlotte Observer. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Garden & Gun and multiple “best of” writing anthologies. Tomlinson also is morbidly obese and has been most of his life. His memoir, “The Elephant in the Room...

Posted: a minute ago

Tommy Tomlinson is a highly regarded journalist who was a longtime columnist for The Charlotte Observer. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Garden & Gun and multiple “best of” writing anthologies. Tomlinson also is morbidly obese and has been most of his life. His memoir, “The Elephant in the Room...
Cycle of poverty takes a hard turn
 The title of Mesha Maren’s debut novel, “Sugar Run,” refers to a gambler’s good fortune, and if anyone could use a bit of luck, it’s Jodi McCarty. The year is 2007, and Jodi has just been sprung from Jaxton Prison in the North Georgia mountains, after having served 18 years for manslaughter. Only 17 when...

Posted: 13 days ago

The title of Mesha Maren’s debut novel, “Sugar Run,” refers to a gambler’s good fortune, and if anyone could use a bit of luck, it’s Jodi McCarty. The year is 2007, and Jodi has just been sprung from Jaxton Prison in the North Georgia mountains, after having served 18 years for manslaughter. Only 17 when...
10 Southern books we want to read in 2019
 The first third of the new year promises a slew of thrilling new books that are penned by Southern-based authors or take place in the South. Among the offerings are sober examinations of climate change and last year’s school shooting in Florida; memoirs about a literary friendship gone awry and life as a fake violinist; and several...

Posted: 18 days ago

The first third of the new year promises a slew of thrilling new books that are penned by Southern-based authors or take place in the South. Among the offerings are sober examinations of climate change and last year’s school shooting in Florida; memoirs about a literary friendship gone awry and life as a fake violinist; and several...
Storytelling and survival
 Oral storytelling traditions run deep in the South, providing the foundation for some of the region’s best literary output. But in Alyson Hagy’s “Scribe,” a slim, taut novel about human nature and the price we pay for the choices we make in the name of survival, the art of storytelling takes center stage. Not...

Posted: 28 days ago

Oral storytelling traditions run deep in the South, providing the foundation for some of the region’s best literary output. But in Alyson Hagy’s “Scribe,” a slim, taut novel about human nature and the price we pay for the choices we make in the name of survival, the art of storytelling takes center stage. Not...
Sister Louisa bar owner prepares to open retreat 
 Grant Henry has worn many hats in his lifetime. Seminary student. Church deacon. Child therapist. Antiques dealer. Bartender. Artist. Husband. Father. Grandfather. Most notably these days, he’s known as the owner of two wildly popular bars, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium in Atlanta, and Sister...

6:00 PM Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

Grant Henry has worn many hats in his lifetime. Seminary student. Church deacon. Child therapist. Antiques dealer. Bartender. Artist. Husband. Father. Grandfather. Most notably these days, he’s known as the owner of two wildly popular bars, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium in Atlanta, and Sister...
Best Southern books of 2018
 Is it just me, or was 2018 a particularly outstanding year for Southern books? From Kiese Laymon’s incendiary memoir “Heavy” to the posthumous publishing sensation of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Barracoon” to Lauren Groff’s National Book Award finalist “Florida,” the books this year displayed...

9:44 PM Friday, Dec. 07, 2018

Is it just me, or was 2018 a particularly outstanding year for Southern books? From Kiese Laymon’s incendiary memoir “Heavy” to the posthumous publishing sensation of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Barracoon” to Lauren Groff’s National Book Award finalist “Florida,” the books this year displayed...
The 5: focus on holiday art
 These days, holiday shopping can be as simple as scrolling the web and pushing a few buttons on the computer. And if that feels like too much effort, gift cards provide the least amount of muss and fuss. But something has been lost in the march toward convenience. Nothing conveys the idea that “it’s the thought that counts&rdquo...

5:00 AM Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

These days, holiday shopping can be as simple as scrolling the web and pushing a few buttons on the computer. And if that feels like too much effort, gift cards provide the least amount of muss and fuss. But something has been lost in the march toward convenience. Nothing conveys the idea that “it’s the thought that counts&rdquo...
8 winter festivals to get you out of hibernation
 When we think of festival season in the Southeast, we tend to think of spring or fall. But winter has its charms, and there are a variety of special events throughout the region that either embrace the season’s chilly temperatures or seek ways to warm things up. Here are eight reasons to quit hibernating and hit the road over the next...

12:00 AM Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018

When we think of festival season in the Southeast, we tend to think of spring or fall. But winter has its charms, and there are a variety of special events throughout the region that either embrace the season’s chilly temperatures or seek ways to warm things up. Here are eight reasons to quit hibernating and hit the road over the next...
7 books for the readers on your gift list this holiday season
 Gift-giving season is upon us again. It’s the time of year when publishers release their flashiest, priciest oversized books in hopes of capturing the holiday market. And it’s our job to sort through them and pluck out the ones we think are the best. Here are our seven favorites from the offerings this year. British author and...

2:49 AM Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Gift-giving season is upon us again. It’s the time of year when publishers release their flashiest, priciest oversized books in hopes of capturing the holiday market. And it’s our job to sort through them and pluck out the ones we think are the best. Here are our seven favorites from the offerings this year. British author and...
Holiday artists markets: The art of giving
 Story by Suzanne Van Atten Holiday shopping has become as simple as scrolling the web and pushing a few buttons on the computer. And if that feels like too much effort, gift cards provide the least amount of muss and fuss. But something has been lost in the march toward convenience. Nothing conveys the idea that “it’s the thought...

5:00 AM Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018

Story by Suzanne Van Atten Holiday shopping has become as simple as scrolling the web and pushing a few buttons on the computer. And if that feels like too much effort, gift cards provide the least amount of muss and fuss. But something has been lost in the march toward convenience. Nothing conveys the idea that “it’s the thought...
From selling bulldozers to books
 In “American Judas,” Maggie and Seth Ginsberg live in a dystopian America where Christianity is the only permissible religion. When Seth is caught practicing his Jewish faith by a co-worker, he’s outed to the authorities and makes a run for the Mexican border, while Maggie is rustled off to a savior camp. Atlanta author...

8:32 PM Tuesday, Nov. 06, 2018

In “American Judas,” Maggie and Seth Ginsberg live in a dystopian America where Christianity is the only permissible religion. When Seth is caught practicing his Jewish faith by a co-worker, he’s outed to the authorities and makes a run for the Mexican border, while Maggie is rustled off to a savior camp. Atlanta author...