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Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 pm

Carr investigated the personal and cognitive effects of our reliance on the Internet in his bestselling The Shallows. In his latest study he looks at technologies old and new, putting today’s apps and Google Glass into perspective by examining how earlier automated systems opened possibilities and enhanced human potential. (W.W. Norton)

ISBN-13: 9780393240764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 9/2014

Writers (and Readers) In Schools

Of the hundreds of authors we host each year at Politics & Prose, it’s rare to find one who doesn’t count reading—and books—as a formative part of his or her childhood. Indeed, it’s striking how many writers tell us that books and stories helped them navigate adversity, deal with tragedy, and imagine lives and worlds far beyond their own.

This simple idea—that reading can transform and transport young lives—is central to the work of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. To be sure, the non-profit is best known for awarding two of the most coveted annual prizes for American literary fiction. But less known, and equally important, is PEN/Faulkner’s creation of ground-breaking programs in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore that put great books into children’s hands, bring celebrated writers into public and charter school classrooms, and support teachers using literature to enhance student learning and living.

Imagine Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Amy Tan, or Edward P. Jones reading from their works at D.C. schools and discussing stories (and more) with students in an English class. Or think about George Pelecanos or Jonathan Franzen visiting the juvenile detention center to talk about books with kids serving time in jail. Or an author like Kenneth Carroll or Lezlie Evans speaking to a book club of teen parents. It’s all happened thanks to PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program.

PEN/Faulkner launched the program in 1989. In the 2014 – 15 school year, Writers in Schools hopes to host 210 author visits in 26 District schools (and 45 author visits in Baltimore). Some 70 authors have already agreed to participate, and PEN/Faulkner will supply 5,000 books to students in the District and Baltimore during the school year.

The idea grew out of another PEN/Faulkner program, the Reading Series, which brings a diverse range of American fiction writers to the Folger Theater for readings on select nights throughout the year. From the start, writers were invited to talk to high school students in addition to the Folger evenings. The authors were eager to participate. So PEN/Faulkner created the program, which also provides each student with a free copy of the book the author will be discussing.

Students have responded enthusiastically to the books and the author visits and, in some cases, have been inspired to write poems or stories of their own. Perhaps not surprisingly, the authors, too, are moved and energized by their classroom visits.

To help support the program, PEN/Faulkner is hosting its annual gala on Monday, October 6, at the Folger Theater. It promises to be a memorable evening celebrating the power of reading and great literature. All proceeds from the event will go to the Writers in Schools program and to support the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award. [For ticket information, click here.]

The theme for the gala this year is “Danger,” and the evening will feature readings by David Baldacci, Ishmael Beah, Madison Smartt Bell, Elliott Holt, Mitchell Jackson, Piper Kerman, Rachel Pastan, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Adelle Waldman, Isabel Wilkerson, and Master of Ceremonies Calvin Trillin.

Politics & Prose is honored to be the bookseller for many PEN/Faulkner events and programs throughout the year, including the Writers in Schools program. You can find books by authors who’ll be reading at the October 6th dinner on a special PEN/Faulkner table in our store for the next few weeks.

We hope that knowing more about the remarkable work of PEN/Faulkner will inspire you to support the organization in whatever way you can. Among the best investments in the future of our community is giving kids the gift of books and reading.

--Brad and Lissa

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Read Banned Books

We’re partnering with Open Road Media to celebrate books deemed too controversial for classrooms and libraries. We’re offering 60% off select e-book titles through September. All you need is a valid email address and a willingness to broaden your horizons.

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Check out our in-store display for more titles that routinely find their way onto the blacklist.


Jewish Literary Festival

For ten days, from October 19 – 29, the Jewish Literary Festival comes to the JCC. The Festival opens with Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks as part of an ambitious multimedia concert, composed by Merima Ključo, based on the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah. The Festival closes with award winning author Gary Shteyngart, in conversation with NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse. Among the nearly 30 authors in between, you will recognize such luminaries as sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer and the father of the graphic novel, Art Spiegelman. Join Deborah Tannen in conversation with acclaimed mother and daughter novelists Hilma and Meg Wolitzer, meet local writers at our Local Author Fair and enjoy a literary lunch with Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Kotz.



Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

Politics & Prose invites you to explore the wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater—a perennial P&P favorite—on Sunday, October 19. Once again, we are conducting a trip to this wooded area of western Pennsylvania to enjoy the fall foliage and explore the house known worldwide as a resonant feat of architectural achievement.

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Writing Workshop with Howard Norman

Politics & Prose is delighted to announce the launch of the Writers' Cottage in Ashland, VA, where we will be hosting aspiring writers—and from November 7 to 11 the incomparable Howard Norman, teacher and award-winning author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, will be leading a writer’s workshop! Workshops consist of five days of instruction, guidance, and, of course, time to write. With instruction each morning and evening, and free time in the afternoon, workshops provide the perfect blend of solitude and companionship. Each workshop will be different, depending on the expertise of the participating author, and with a maximum of eight participants there will be an intimate environment.

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Children and Teens

Now in Stock

Thanks to Candlewick, we have a limited number of signed first editions of Gregory Maguire’s new book, Egg and Spoon (Candlewick, $17.99). Call or come in for a copy.


Books of the Week

New in Hardcover

Birgitta Sif
Frances Dean, Who Loved
to Dance and Dance

(Candlewick, $15.99)


Blast from the Past

Debbie Allen
Dancing in the Wings
(Puffin, $6.99)

read more about these books.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.



Monday, October 6, 6:30 p.m.



Tuesday, October 7, 7 p.m.



Tuesday, October 14, 7 p.m.



Tickets on sale now

Wednesday, November 12, 7 p.m.

No signed book orders can be accepted.



Don't Miss 

Wednesday, October 1, 7 p.m.



Wednesday, October 8, 7 p.m.



Saturday, October 11, 7 p.m.



Monday, October 13, 7 p.m



Tuesday, October 14, 7 p.m.



Monday, November 3, 7 p.m.



Thursday, December 11, 7 p.m.



Willard Literary Series

Monday, November 17, 12 p.m.



Music News

CD Cover CD Cover

John Coltrane
(Resonance Records,
2 CDs, $26.98)


Leonard Cohen
Popular Problems
(Columbia, $12.98)


CD Cover CD Cover

Jeff Tweedy
(Anti, 2 CDs, $18.98)


Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Cheek to Cheek
(Interscope, $13.98)


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Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Please contact if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

Tuesday, October 7, 7 p.m.

at Sixth & I

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of The New Republic, editor Franklin Foer and literary editor Leon Wieseltier present Insurrections of the Mind: 100 Years of Politics and Culture in America (Harper Perennial, $17.99), an anthology of essays exploring the pivotal issues of modern America culled from the archives of the magazine.

buy tickets