Erica Jong
Erica Jong

Novelist Erica Jong will launch the long-awaited sequel to her groundbreaking novel Fear of Flying as keynote speaker at this year’s Decatur Book Festival, Sept. 4-6. Fear of Dying catches up with Isadora Wing more than 40 years later as she steps into the “afternoon of life.”

Jong will be be joined by provocative author and essayist Roxanne Gay (Bad Feminist, An Untamed State) on stage for an interview during the opening night event on Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University.

This year’s featured “kidnote” author will be Judy Schachner, creator of the beloved Skippyjon Jones picture books. The kidnote address will move this year to Decatur High School’s Performing Arts Center and will begin at 5 p.m. on Sept. 4.

Following the keynote and kidnote addresses, the festival kicks off in earnest on Sept. 5, with a children’s parade on the Decatur Square led by Drew Daywalt, author of the best-selling picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit.  A second children’s parade will start Sunday’s festivities, led by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, co-creators of the popular Fancy Nancy series. Participants are invited to dress their fanciest and actors from Synchronicity Theatre’s fall presentation of Fancy Nancy, The Musical! will join them.

More noted authors making appearances over the weekend include: Ron Rash, Sara Paretsky, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Cat Cora, Pat Conroy, Samuel Delany, Christopher Moore, Elizabeth Alexander, Kevin Henkes, Libba Bray and Saeed Jones.

The book festival is hosted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and presented by DeKalb Medical. For a full schedule of events and authors, keep an eye on

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.