Some November and December Highlights


Politics & Prose is heading into its final stretch of author events before we briefly suspend them in early December to make room for holiday shoppers. The next few weeks will feature another great round of well-known writers, along with some up-and-comers and others whose work deserves recognition. From biography to politics, from science to humor, from mystery to literary criticism, our line-up for November and early December promises to be as exciting as ever.

A few days before the presidential election, we’ll be offering a humorous diversion with the informative and hilarious Onion Book of Known Knowledge (Little, Brown, $29.99)¸ whose authors will appear at the store on November 4 at 5 pm. The 256-page encyclopedia of “essential knowledge” is the work of the Onion’s reporting staff, whose special brand of political satire has kept Washington and environs laughing (and thinking) for nearly a quarter century.

Surely another high point of the fall season will be our event at 3 pm on November 16, featuring  one of the funniest and most provocative comedians on the planet, Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. This is a book-signing only, and a ticket is required for entry. One ticket comes with the purchase of Colbert’s new book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t (Grand Central, $28.99).
For more fun, join us when we host Calvin Trillin on December 6 for a discussion of his new book of ryhmes, Dogfight (Random House, $16.99). Exactly one month after the presidential election, Trillin will review the 2012 campaign and election—all in verse, of course!

Biography buffs won’t want to miss our event on November 9 with Caroline de Margerie, whose story of Georgetown doyenne Susan Mary Alsop, American Lady (Viking, $26.95), explores the breadth and depth of her connections to the politicians and power brokers of her day.  New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot will be at the store on November 10 to discuss The Entertainer (Riverhead, $28.95) about her father, Lyle Talbot, an enduring American actor and regular on Leave it to Beaver. The book is as much a work about Hollywood and the entertainment industry as it is about one man’s life.

Jon Meacham, who wrote a Pulitzer-prize winning biography of Andrew Jackson, now has authored Thomas Jefferson (Random House, $35), and will be at P&P on November 15 at 7 pm. Also dealing with Jefferson—specifically, his treatment of slaves—is Master of the Mountain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28) by Henry Wiencek, who will speak on November 20. We’ll host Marcus Rediker for his new book, The Amistad Rebellion (Viking, $27.95), a deeper look at 53 slaves who revolted aboard the slave ship and whose voyage he chronicled in an earlier book.

For those in the mood for fiction, we’re delighted to host Irish novelist, playwright, and poet Colm Toibin on November 13 for The Testament of Mary (Scribner, $19.99), an imaginary story of Mary in her later years and in a period of alienation from her son’s followers. Scandinavian mystery writer Jo Nesbo will be at the store for his new thriller, Phantom (Knopf, $25.95), on November 19. Also that night at Sidwell Friends School we’re hosting the great Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who will discuss Silent House (Knopf, $26.95), an earlier work that has only recently been translated and is garnering wide attention.

And lastly, we’re delighted to note that local author and prize-winning journalist and historian Rick Atkinson will speak on November 14 at 5:30 pm about the history of Politics & Prose. His essay on the store is included in My Bookstore (Black Dog & Leventhal, $23.95), a new collection of pieces by notable writers profiling local independent bookstores across the country.

These are only a handful of the exceptional author events taking place between now and December 8th. Please look at the calendar on our website ( for a detailed listing and for brief blurbs about the books and authors being hosted.

We look forward to seeing you.

- Brad and Lissa