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Saturday, September 4, 2010

A field guide to authorial gesticulation at the Decatur Book Festival

Amidst the cornucopia of literary talent and funnel cakes being served up right now at the Decatur Book Festival, masters of the fine art of gesticulation are showing off their skills for speaking with hands.

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  • Wyatt Williams

Macarthur Genius, New Yorker "20 under 40" writer, and TED talker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shows off the basic-but-classic "From me to you, girl," indicating her personal connection with an audience member asking for writerly advice.

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  • Wyatt Williams

Citrus County author John Brandon shows a loose, comfortable two-hand style to explain his latest novel's plot with this gesture, which can only mean, "Something is going on with this hand, but shit's really getting crazy with this hand up here."

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  • Wyatt Williams

George Dawes Green, the mystery writer and founder of Moth, shows a gesture so subtle that it's almost hidden behind the microphone stand. This is universally known amongst gesticulation experts as, "I'm gripping the podium so you know how totally serious I am."

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  • Wyatt Williams

Preston Allen, author of Jesus Boy, nails a perfect execution of the always useful "air quotes" gesture.

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  • Wyatt Williams

At the Java Monkey, local poet and poetry slam organizer Kodac Harrison imitates his pet turtle. No, really.

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