Black Authors and Their Fans Converge in Atlanta Next Weekend
Speaking of book clubs. The Black-ish Book Club, sponsored by A Cappella Books, will hold its monthly meeting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at the Dancing Goats (Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave., Atlanta). This month, they’ll be discussing “The Sweetness of Water” (Little, Brown & Co., $25.98) by Nathan Harris. The Oprah Book Club’s 2021 Pick is set in the final days of the Civil War and focuses on two slave brothers recently freed by the Emancipation Proclamation who find work on a farm in Georgia in hopes of earning a living. money to find their mother in the North. The event is free and open to the public. For more details, go to www.acappellabooks.com.
Happy pub day. Last year, Atlanta native Ayana Gray caused a stir with her young adult fantasy debut, “Beasts of Prey,” about a girl with magical powers and a boy training to Become a warrior who join forces to enter the great jungle and capture a monster that has been terrorizing their city for almost a century. The book was such a hit, it’s translated into 10 languages and has a feature film development deal with Netflix. Fans who have been leaning over the edge of this book’s cliffhanger ending can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The second book in the two-book series, “Beasts of Ruin” (Penguin Random House, $18.99), comes out Tuesday, July 26. And the next day, Wednesday, July 27, at 7 p.m., Gray will make an appearance at the DeKalb County Public Library Decatur Branch (215 Sycamore St., Decatur), where she’ll be in conversation with Atlanta YA author Roshani Chokshi. Presented by Little Shop of Stories, the event is free but requires registration at www.eventbrite.com.
literary heritage. The Georgia Writers Association has opened applications for its second annual John Lewis Writing Fellowship, which recognizes and supports black writers in Georgia. Winners receive $500 each to present a workshop or lecture at a Georgia location and a scholarship to the annual Red Clay Writers Conference. The deadline is October 1. For more details, visit www.georgiawriters.org.
Last year’s recipients were Ra’Niqua Lee, who is pursuing a doctorate. in African American Literature from Emory University; freelance writer George Chidi, who writes for The Intercept and Decaturish, and poet Jae Nichelle.
Suzanne Van Atten is a literary critic and managing editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @svanatten.