Books

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Gay writers at Decatur Book Fest

As the AJC Decatur Book Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary, the Labor Day weekend festival will again include an LGBT track.

The festival is partnering with the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival to bring LGBT writers to town, according to Franklin Abbott, the chair and one of the founders of AQLF.

“We’re very excited about this,” he says. “The Decatur Book Festival is one of the most successful book festivals in the world and the biggest in the Southeast. Decatur is the perfect spot for it.”

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Jonathan Lerner, a founder of the Weather Underground, explores politics, sexuality in new book

Weather Underground member Jonathan Lerner

When two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, Atlanta writer Jonathan Lerner remembers thinking how he could identify with Mohamed Atta. Atta, a college-educated man who was raised by affluent parents in Egypt, was the hijacker-pilot who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center.

Lerner’s friend, sex columnist and blogger Michael Alvear, who is gay, told him he needed to put those thoughts down on paper.

So Lerner took a manuscript he had been trying to complete as a memoir about his days as a founding member of the Weather Underground and condensed it into 6,000 words for an essay published Feb. 24, 2002, in the Washington Post Magazine.