16th Annual Festival to Feature Exciting Author Events, Bookseller Pop-Up Shops, and Food Vendors from the Decatur Farmer’s Market
DECATUR, Ga. (July 29, 2021) – After 15 years of hosting literary events in Downtown Decatur over Labor Day Weekend and growing into one of the largest independent book festivals in the country, the AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by Emory University is making a permanent move to the first weekend of October.
This year’s festival, themed Diverse Voices Building Community, will be a one-day program taking place on Saturday, October 2, at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, as part of a larger Festival Weekend lineup. The re-imagined festival will take place on the church grounds, and booksellers will be setting up pop-up shops at the church along with food pop ups from the Decatur Farmer’s Market.
The 2021 Decatur Book Festival Presented by Emory University will feature several captivating and compelling author events and panels in this compressed format.
- The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America by Emory professor Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury, June 1). From The New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, Anderson’s book takes an unflinching, critical new look at the Second Amendment and how it has been engineered to deny the rights of African Americans. (Non-Fiction)
- Late City by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler (Atlantic Monthly Press, September 7). A 115-year-old man lies on his deathbed as the 2016 election results arrive and revisits his life in this moving story of love, fatherhood, and the American century. (Fiction)
- A Night at the Sweet Gum Head: Drag, Drugs, Disco, and Atlanta’s Gay Revolution by Martin Padgett (W.W. Norton & Company, June 1). An intimate story of 1970s gay Atlanta through its bedazzling drag clubs and burgeoning rights activism. (Memoir)
- Why We Fly by Gilly Segal and Kim Jones (Sourcebooks, October 5), from The New York Times bestselling authors of I’m Not Dying with You Tonight comes a heartfelt story about two teen girls—one black, one white—whose friendship is tested by an act of rebellion against systemic racism. (Young Adult Fiction)
- A Picture Book Panel will showcase The Children’s Moon by author/illustrator team Carmen Agra Deedy and Jim LaMarche, and illustrator Laura Freeman (Scholastic Press, October 19). Carmen Agra Deedy and Jim LaMarche have brilliantly crafted an original tale about finding one’s place in the universe. Acclaimed Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honoree Laura Freeman showcases a loving intergenerational family, and encourages girls to find female heroes in their own lives in the book Standing on Her Shoulders: A Celebration of Women written by Monica Clark-Robinson. (Picture Book)
- A Literary Fiction Panel will feature Monster in the Middle, by Emory professor Tiphanie Yanique (Riverhead, October 19), an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one couple newly in love, and The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti (Hub City, May 4), a heartfelt and human portrait of the long shadow of the Partition of India on the lives of three generations of women. (Fiction)
“We are truly excited to bring back in-person author events for this year’s festival, in addition to livestreaming so that viewers from around the world can tune in,” said Mathwon Howard, board president, Decatur Book Festival. “The 2021 festival will feature diverse voices from award-winning authors. I want to thank the First Baptist Church of Decatur, which is an invaluable partner. They are helping to coordinate volunteers and booksellers, and their audio/visual team is top-notch. I would also like to recognize the investment that Emory University continues to make in the festival. Emory is a key strategic partner helping the festival remain a community treasure.”
Events also being held during Festival Weekend 2021 include the Amplify Decatur Music Festival Presented by Lenz (October 1-2), The Decatur Craft Beer Festival (October 2), and the Decatur Arts Festival (October 2-3).
The festival is working within CDC COVID guidelines and the First Baptist Church of Decatur’s COVID protocols to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all.