Help Protect Atlanta's Book Review

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitutions recent decision to eliminate its book editor positionand, possibly, its book review sectionis demoralizing beyond words. The AJC's book section is one of the best-edited literary pages in the country. It provides Atlanta, which ranks #15 on the University of Wisconsins list of most literate cities in the U.S., with a powerful and necessary cultural dialogue. Under the astute guidance of the sections editor Teresa Weaver, the books page has demonstrated an admirable commitment to both literature and nonfiction works which have grappled with some of America's most complicated issues and themes.

Not only has the AJCs book section helped to champion such important writers as Edward P. Jones, William T. Vollmann, and Colm Toibin, not to mention Paul Hendrickson and Monica Aliall of whom are now recognized as major literary voicesbut it has struck a fine balance by also letting readers know, through in-depth interviews and event listings, about more popular authors who make Atlanta a stop on their book tours. If the major newspaper in a major market like Atlanta lacks a book section, then we may soon be missing authors, too, when publishers decide not to send their writers to a city where the primary forum of ideas and review is ignoring them.

I am a subscriber to and/or a frequent reader of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and I want the AJC to continue publishing a book section edited by Teresa Weaver that gives Atlanta a unique, thoughtful approach to books, one that represents a diverse array of voices, and is not simply fed by wire copy from the Associated Press or the New York Times.