Colin Meloy of The Decemberists and Celebrated Artist/Illustrator Carson Ellis Kick Off Sixth Annual Event
June 16, 2011
Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, the nationally renowned pair behind a new family-friendly book, Wildwood, will keynote the AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF). This is the first in what will become a three-book fantasy series set in a world reviewers compare to the Narnia of C.S. Lewis.
Meloy and Ellis will kick off the event’s sixth annual extravaganza Friday, Sept. 2, with a keynote address at 8 p.m. in Presser Hall on the campus of Agnes Scott College.
Best known for his inventive and timeless melodies and lilting vocals, Meloy is the lead singer of indie band The Decemberists. Ellis, known for her illustrations of books such as The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and The Composer Is Dead by Lemony Snicket, as well as album covers for The Decemberists, created illustrations for the fantasy novel of magic, wonder, and danger.
AJC DBF Executive Director Daren Wang said this year’s keynote will attract readers and music fans of all ages.
“Innovation has always been a big part of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, and bringing in one of the country’s best-known musicians to launch his first novel will help us fulfill our mission of creating excitement about books among all age groups,” Wang said.
Continuing on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3-4, the Festival will host more than 300 authors and is expected to attract tens of thousands of book lovers to the historic Decatur Square.
“I’m thrilled about the line-up we have for this year’s Festival, and think we have something for any reader,” said Program Director Terra Elan McVoy. “We have a great combination of established, much-loved DBF traditions as well as exciting, new offerings.”
Other featured authors at this year’s festival include: Howard Wasdin (Seal Team 6), Hal Needham (Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life), Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities), Shirley Strawberry (The Strawberry Letter), Joshilyn Jackson (Backseat Saints), Gregg Hurwitz (You’re Next), George Pelecanos (The Cut), Robert Olen Butler (A Small Hotel), River Jordan (Praying for Strangers), Jennifer Haigh (Faith), James Swanson (Bloody Crimes), Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (A Tiger in the Kitchen), Kim Severson (Spoon Fed), Holly Tucker (Blood Work), Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers), Mary Kay Andrews (Summer Rental), and Karen Russell (Swamplandia).
Special performances during the Festival include a presentation by famed Southern writer Clyde Edgerton. Celebrating his newest book, Night Train, Edgerton will share not only his writing skills, but also some singing and guitar playing as well.
Decatur-based singer/songwriter Caroline Herring, featured in 2010 on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, will share her songs inspired by children’s books (including The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, and Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak) on the Children’s Stage.
The Theatrical Outfit, one of Atlanta’s oldest professional theater companies, will present two separate stage offerings, including Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s world premiere drama The Green Book, and a first ever workshop of Tom Key’s stage adaptation of Eudora Welty’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Optimist’s Daughter. Caroling Herring and fellow singer/songwriter Kate Campbell will provide a musical component to this event.
The Atlanta Opera will also present a special preview of their upcoming children’s opera based on the tales of Brer Rabbit – popularized by Atlanta’s own Joel Chandler Harris.
The Festival will feature two children’s parades again this year. The Saturday morning parade will be led by Skippyjon Jones and followed by a presentation by Judy Schachner (Skippyjon Jones, Class Action). The Sunday morning parade will be a Pete the Cat theme, followed by James Dean and Eric Litwin sharing their new book (Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes).
The AJC Decatur Book Festival will celebrate its sixth year of bringing a wide variety of authors and events to the Decatur Square Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, 2011.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical is the largest independent book festival in the country, and the fourth largest overall. This year, more than 300 authors and tens of thousands of festival goers will crowd the historic downtown Decatur Square to enjoy book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops, and more. For more information, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com, “like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook, or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.