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#READdifferent #READmemoir


So you’ve heard all about the #READdifferent campaign but you’re not sure where to start on your journey of literary exploration and discovery. We’re here to help! Each week we will be featuring a different theme or genre that you can use to #READdifferent at the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Memoirs have the remarkable power to allow readers to witness important historical moments, real personal experiences, and moving life events through a perspective that is completely different from their own. Gain a new perspective and immerse yourself in the compelling personal stories of these exciting memoir authors at the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Black Man in a White Coat by Dr. Damon Tweedy examines the complex ways in which both black doctors an patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community.

In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the resulting void, and finding solace in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.

Bitingly funny, raw, and insightful, Dangerous When Wet is the unforgettable story of a unique relationship between a son and his mother. Author and native Texan Jamie Brickhouse recounts his long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with his mother, and his sexuality in this darkly comic and deeply poignant memoir.

Through The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics, author Barton Swaim gives readers a look inside the spin room of the modern politician; a place where press statement are purposefully nonsensical and grammatical errors are intentional; a place where staffers and constituents invest everything they have in their political leaders only to have their efforts turn futile because of a bizarre scandal; a place so equally corrupt as it is comical that it can’t possibly be real, but it is.

How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood looks back at Jim Grimsley’s personal experience as an 11-year-old white child during the federally mandated integration of schools — remembering his own first real encounters with black children and their culture. The result is a narrative both true and deeply moving. Grimsley takes readers into those classrooms and onto the playing fields as, ever so tentatively, alliances were forged and friendships established. And looking back from today’s perspective, he examines how far we have really come.

A River Runs Again is a lyrical and intimate tapestry of five stories dealing with life, loss, and survival in modern-day India. Author Meera Subramanian travels in search of the ordinary people and micro-enterprises redeeming India’s natural world. Through these true stories, Subramanian discovers renewed hope for a sustainable and prosperous future for India.