The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta recently announced the full author line-up for the 21st edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA. One of the South’s premier literary events, the Festival is scheduled for Nov. 1 through 18 with two special “Prologue to the Book Festival” events set for Oct. 14 (James Patterson) and Oct. 15 (R.L. Stine).
“For two weeks each year, we are proud to bring our community authors from around the world who are also celebrities, public figures and pop culture icons,” Ina Enoch, Festival co-chair with Sheri Gumer, said. “More than 10,000 visitors will enjoy engaging speaker programs, author meet-and-greets, book signings, panel discussions, the Family Reading Festival and more.”
This year, more than 50 of the year’s best and brightest authors will present in a variety of forums. Keynote speakers include Award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy; New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin; CBS News Travel editor Peter Greenberg; television, screen and stage star Tony Danza; celebrated author and screenwriter Delia Ephron; Grammy Award-winning pianist and ambassador of the Great American Songbook Michael Feinstein; and world-renowned religious scholar and bestselling author Rabbi Harold Kushner.
“During the Book Festival, our community comes together to explore, learn, and share literary and cultural experiences with these extraordinary authors,” Gumer said. “’Fest’ people come to hear an author discuss his or her book and can’t wait to bring a friend or family member back to another program. The Festival is such a wonderful, community-building event, and gets better each year.”
The events scheduled for the first three days of the Festival show the caliber of events:
On the opening night of Thurs., Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Michael Bar-Zohar, author of “Mossad: The Great Missions of the Israeli Secret Service” will start the proceedings off on a high note. Bar-Zohar, author of more than 30 books, was a former member of the Knesset and an adviser to General Moshe Dayan. In “Mossad,” he reveals some of the more fantastic episodes in the history of Israeli intelligence operations around the world.
Also, later that night (8:15 p.m.), Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of “Jerusalem: A Biography” (President Bill Clinton’s “No. 1 book of the year”), is set to appear. From King David to the 21st century and from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence.
Next, on Fri., Nov. 2 at 12 p.m., Maggie Anton, author of “Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Book 1 – Apprentice,” will speak. The woman behind the blockbuster “Rashi’s Daughters” series that captured the imagination of millions of readers is back with the first of a two-volume series titled “Rav Hisda’s Daughter.” The book is based on actual Talmud texts and populated with its rabbis and their families.
Then, on Sat., Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., Andrew McCarthy, author of “The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down,” will host a session. The award-winning travel writer and actor (known for his roles in “Pretty in Pink,” “Mannequin,” “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Weekend at Bernie’s,” among other films) will share about his latest work, a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales with an irrepressible taste for adventure, candor and a vivid sense of place.
Editor’s note: For a complete calendar and to purchase tickets, call (678) 812-4005 or visit atlantajcc.org/bookfestival.