Decatur, Ga., a city which both borders and predates Atlanta, is home to more than just its population of 20,148. The Brick Store (the South’s best craft-beer bar), Little Shop of Stories (the South’s best children’s book store), the former offices of Homestar Runner and Paste Magazine all call the city home. But nothing has put Decatur on the literary map quite like the AJC Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the U.S., and fifth largest overall.
This weekend (Sept. 1-3), more than 1,000 authors and hundreds of thousands of book-lovers will descend upon our town to celebrate reading. National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone will lead a panel of journalists in this year’s keynote address Friday night.
The DBF is a non-profit community organization, and all sessions are free (only the keynote is ticketed). Tracks range from civil rights to poetry to science to fiction with a robust program for young readers. Festival founder and executive director Daren Wang will be discussing his excellent Civil War debut novel The Hidden Light of Northern Fires on Saturday at 1:45pm.
I’ll be on stage at the Historic Decatur Courthouse twice on Saturday, Sept. 2, first as part of a panel on long-form journalism at 1:30pm (which also includes Bitter Southerner’s Chuck Reece, Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Suzanne Van Attan and former Paste books editor and novelist Charles McNair) and later interviewing Richard Lloyd of the band Television about his new memoir Everything Is Combustable at 5:30pm.
For a full schedule of authors and events, visit decaturbookfestival.com.
Josh Jackson is the president, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Paste Magazine.