Monday, August 29, 2011

Decatur Book Festival, September 2-4: reading, writing, and (of course) food for all


The sixth annual Decatur Book Festival opens this Friday. According to the Festival's organizers the idea for a fall weekend literary event was prompted by a little civic envy. In one of those "why not" moments of inspiration, an annual book festival was the result of hours of hard work and meetings, pitches and agreements, and the first DBF was held in 2006.

The festival is now a blossoming weekend event that encompasses a variety of readings, workshops, and presentations wrapped around a street fair that -- when the weather's good, as is expected this weekend -- has become one of the Atlanta area's premier annual attractions.

For full details and schedule, venues, and accessibility visit the DBF website. Here is an overview of this year's more unusual attractions.

Friday afternoon, the DBF hosts a series of ten writers' workshops at Agnes Scott College, with an address at 3:00 p.m. by author Nora McFarland.

Beyond the featured readers at the festival there will be some more unusual guests. David Eagleman will be discussing his latest book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. Holly Tucker, teacher of medicine and French studies at Vanderbilt University, will give a talk about her book, Bloodwork: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, a recounting of the first blood transfusion experiments in 17th century Paris and London. Sidney Perkowitz, writer and physicist, will present a discussion on his book, Slow Light: Invisibility, Transportation, and Other Mysteries of Light.

A panel discussion called “From Page to Pub to Podcast: Science Writers Address New Venues and New Media” will be part of the festival. It features Holly Tucker, Maryn McKenna, and Anthony Martin with Marc Merlin from the Atlanta Science Tavern.

On Friday night, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis of the rock group The Decemberists officially kick off the weekend with a keynote address at Agnes Scott College. The festival is the official launch of Wildwood, their illustrated children’s book about a mysterious world.

Saturday and Sunday events and readings will feature over 300 authors giving talks, panel discussions, and book signings at locations around downtown Decatur. The ongoing success of the DBF is an encouraging sign that whatever else may be said about the publishing industry, a fall book festival is still one good reason to celebrate.

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