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Judy Turner Prize winners to give presentation at Decatur Book Festival

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Judy Turner Prize winners to give presentation at Decatur Book Festival

Irene Muturi (left) and Chris Andrews check out some of the books for sale during the Decatur Book Festival . File Photo: Jonathan Phillips
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Irene Muturi (left) and Chris Andrews check out some of the books for sale during the Decatur Book Festival . File Photo: Jonathan Phillips

The Judy Turner Prize is a tradition that began last year at the Decatur Book Festival.

This year, two Atlanta-recognized authors Hannah Palmer and Mark Pendergrast are the recipients of the award. Palmer wrote “Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport,” and Pendergrast wrote “City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future.”

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This award is a tribute to Judy Turner, one of the founders and veteran board president of the Decatur Book Festival. In 2016, she retired after more than 50 years in banking. To honor her commitment to community service, “Private Bank of Buckhead, which includes Private Bank of Decatur, contributed $10,000 in seed money to establish the prize.”

In order to qualify for the award, “the focus of an author’s book must be on community and published in the current year.” Ryan Gravel, the mind behind the Atlanta Beltline, won last year for his book, “Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities.”

The winners will be giving a presentation called “The Impact of Changing Atlanta” at 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the local Decatur Library.

Palmer lives by the Atlanta airport with her family, and “Flight Path” is her first book.

“The fact that an intimate story about the overlooked edges of the city is being recognized as a book about community should be an encouragement to all Atlantans to tell their own stories and fill in the full tapestry of our changing city,” Palmer said in a recent press release.

Pendergrast lives in Vermont, but was born and lived in Atlanta prior to moving.

“I hope that my book helps in a small way to lead the city into a better future with better public transport, more parks and trails, and more equitable housing and medical care,” Pendergrast said in a recent press release. “To receive the Turner Prize validates my work and message, thank you so much.”


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