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Joyce Carol Oates tickets available Aug. 5; Emory reading keynotes Decatur Book Festival

Joyce Carol Oates will read from her new short story collection, "Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories," to kick off the Decatur Book Festival. Photo by Jeff Sciortino.

(Update August 5, 2014: Tickets are sold out for this event.)

Free tickets for American literary icon Joyce Carol Oates’s keynote address at the 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival will be available at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5 at Emory University's Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts box office and at four local bookstores. 

Tickets, which are limited to two per person, are required for the event. Patrons can collect tickets by visiting the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts; by calling the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050; or by visiting

Phone and online orders will incur a $4 processing fee. A limited number of tickets also will be available at A Cappella Books, Charis Books & More, Eagle Eye Books and Little Shop of Stories.

Oates will deliver the festival’s keynote at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, and launch her new short story collection, "Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories," a collection said to display her "magnificent ability to make visceral the terror, hurt and uncertainty that lurks at the edges of ordinary lives."

Following the Friday keynote at Emory, the festival will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 30, with a children’s parade on the Decatur Square. Events and author presentations, including several from Emory authors, will continue in downtown Decatur Saturday and Sunday.

Best known for her works of fiction, Oates’s novels include "Blonde," a reimagining of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, and "We Were the Mulvaneys," which follows the disintegration of an American family in the late 20th century. Since 1963, Oates has had 40 works included in the New York Times annual list of notable books. Among her many honors, she was awarded the 2010 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

Festival Executive Director Daren Wang says he is honored to have Oates as the keynote speaker for this year's event.

"There are few authors — very, very few — that rise to Joyce Carol Oates's level of accomplishment. She has created 40 novels, many of them good enough to base an entire career upon, and countless stories, essays, and poems. Instead of listing the major awards she has won, it is much easier to list the one or two she unjustly has not," Wang says. "She does us all a great honor by coming to the Decatur Book Festival, but for me, having grown up less than 20 miles from her hometown of Millersport, New York, her keynoting the festival feels like an odd but wonderful kind of homecoming."

Emory is a major sponsor of the weekend event, which is the largest community-based independent book festival in the country, offering lectures and book signings from more than 300 authors. The event also features the following Emory authors:

  • Natasha Trethewey, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory, 2012 keynote speaker for the AJC DBF, and former Poet Laureate of the United States and Mississippi.
  • Jericho Brown, assistant professor of English and creative writing at Emory.
  • Dana Sokolowski 15C, a creative writing major at Emory College and 2013 recipient of the Artistine Mann Award in Poetry for her poem "The Statues."
  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law, associate professor in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, senior fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, and senior faculty fellow of the Emory University Center for Ethics.
  • Kevin Young, Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory.

For a complete schedule of authors, programs and events, check

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