THE LONELINESS FILES by Dixon NOTE: Meeting Online

A Seat at the Table
Sunday, November 19, 3:30 pm

A Seat At The Table Book Group is here to explore the depth of black women within literature. This group is for anyone and everyone who wants to read the works of black women across genre lines.The group is lead by Morgan Harding with Politics and Prose and now meets online on the third Sunday at 3:30pm. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. For info email

The Loneliness Files By Athena Dixon Cover Image

The Loneliness Files (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
3 on hand, as of Dec 5 5:25pm
Politics and Prose at The Wharf (610 Water St SW)
3 on hand, as of Dec 5 2:19pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market (1270 5th Street NE)
2 on hand, as of Dec 5 1:36pm

“An essential exploration of the isolation inherent in our era of virtual hyperconnection [that] also asks how we can find our way back to one another.”—New York Times Book Review 

“I was blown away."—Hanif Abdurraqib, Tin House Editor-at-Large

What does it mean to be a body behind a screen, lost in the hustle of an online world? In our age of digital hyper-connection, Athena Dixon invites us to consider this question with depth, heart, and ferocity, investigating the gaps that technology cannot fill and confronting a lifetime of loneliness.

Living alone as a middle-aged woman without children or pets and working forty hours a week from home, more than three hundred fifty miles from her family and friends, Dixon begins watching mystery videos on YouTube, listening to true crime podcasts, and playing video game walk-throughs just to hear another human voice. She discovers the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a woman who died alone, her body remaining in front of a glowing television set for three years before the world finally noticed. Searching for connection, Dixon plumbs the depths of communal loneliness, asking essential questions of herself and all of us: How have her past decisions left her so alone? Are we, as humans, linked by a shared loneliness? How do we see the world and our place in it? And finally, how do we find our way back to each other?

Searing and searching, The Loneliness Files is a groundbreaking memoir in essays that ultimately brings us together in its piercing, revelatory examination of how and why it is that we break apart.

Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. Her work is included in the anthology The BreakBeat Poets Vol.2: Black Girl Magic and her craft work appears in Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction. Athena is an alumna of VONA, Callaloo, and Tin House and has received a prose fellowship from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena now resides in Philadelphia.

Product Details ISBN: 9781959030126
ISBN-10: 1959030124
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 192
Language: English
Vulnerable . . . .An essential exploration of the isolation inherent in our era of virtual hyperconnection [that] also asks how we can find our way back to one another.
— New York Times Book Review

An indelible portrait of contemporary isolation that soothes and slices with the same steady hand.
— Publishers Weekly

The rare exploration of internet existence that sounds like it has something urgent to say.
— The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of 2023

Thought-provoking. . . . What makes The Loneliness Files an engrossing, often astonishing read is the author’s admirable candor. By excavating her discomfort and divulging her most vulnerable longing, Dixon generates a higher, rarer level of connection with the reader—and that seems a powerful legacy.

— Chicago Review of Books

With a sharp attention to language befitting her background as a poet, she brings the reader deep into her life’s experiences.
— Electric Literature

With lyrical, memorable prose, Dixon cracks open the fear of not being remembered. . . . Her story is not only relatable, but significant, as she creates a sense of comfort for anyone who feels a little lonely sometimes. An honest and captivating investigation into human connection within an increasingly digital world.
— Kirkus Reviews

Vulnerable, visceral. . . . Reflective yet urgent, reverberating with feeling. Dixon beautifully articulates how loneliness is paradoxically a narrative that people experience together.
— Library Journal, Starred Review

Moving and lyrical.
— Booklist

Dixon’s writing is powered by a certainty that she is not the only one who feels the way she describes, and that there is a value in straightforwardly and vulnerably saying so.
— Brooklyn Rail

Her essays hold eloquent portrayals of the most common and quiet feelings of loneliness. But most compelling, they resist a tragic end. Though her words may have readers diving deep into what it means to be lonely, they’re likely to resurface with practical ways forward.
— Common Good

Cracks open some of life’s most fundamental questions through the lens of loneliness.
— Hippocampus Magazine

Intimate. . . . Engaging. . . . leaves readers contemplating not just loneliness but also hope and possibility long after reading The Loneliness Files. In that contemplative state, perhaps we find ourselves connected in some way.

— West Trade Review

Dixon’s searing vulnerability shines.
— The Amsterdam News

I felt so seen in Dixon’s memoir. What a relief—I’m not the only one who feels so lonely.
— Hobart Pulp

Athena Dixon is my favorite sort of writer: Startlingly direct, vulnerable, and astonishingly honest. In The Loneliness Files, Dixon invites us to sit on her sofa with her, and with unflinching humility, reveals to us that her fear of dying alone is only eclipsed by her fear of not being remembered. I can assure you that anyone who reads The Loneliness Files will not be able to forget Dixon or her extraordinarily relatable journey.

— Laura Cathcart Robbins, author of Stash: My Life In Hiding

In The Loneliness Files, Athena Dixon dissects the social constructs that both create and pathologize loneliness, ultimately concluding that the remedy might not be its eradication, but a radical re-envisioning of what loneliness can make possible: a deeper understanding of oneself, a deeper appreciation of the connections that keep us tethered to the world, and the absolute wonder of finding unexpected pockets of joy in solitude. Dixon writes with the astute candor of a recluse who has invited you into her most intimate spaces, ones that are rich with the minutia of a contemporary life, and in so doing, she compels you to consider the intricacies of your own.

— Destiny O. Birdsong, author of Nobody's Magic

Overflowing with affection and humanity even as it examines difficult subjects, The Loneliness Files is one of those all-too-rare treats: a memoir to converse with. It is musical, truthful, and as I read, I left notes in the margins, re-examined my own experience of the global Pandemic, and let the conversation re-shape my present. This book is a true gem, and only a superior essayist could have created it. Instead of putting it down when I finished, I flipped right back to page 1 and started over.

— Alex Jennings, author of The Ballad of Perilous Graves

Haunting, affecting, and searingly smart, Athena Dixon's The Loneliness Files is both a mirror and soundtrack for our times. She offers us, in prose both lyrical and hypnotic, insights so unflinching they left me breathless. This book goes beyond one woman's loneliness to illuminate essential truths about our collective aloneness.

— Jeannine Ouellette, author of The Part that Burns

THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Henderson NOTE: Meeting Online

A Seat at the Table
Sunday, October 15, 3:30 pm

A Seat At The Table Book Group is here to explore the depth of black women within literature. This group is for anyone and everyone who wants to read the works of black women across genre lines.The group is lead by Morgan Harding with Politics and Prose and now meets online on the third Sunday at 3:30pm. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. For info email

The Year of the Witching By Alexis Henderson Cover Image

The Year of the Witching (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.
Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. Currently, Alexis resides in Columbus, Ohio, where she's learning to cope with the cold.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593099612
ISBN-10: 0593099613
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Pages: 368
Language: English
“This is a beautiful, powerful, important book, and I hugely recommend it.”—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of The Unkindest Tide
 “The Year of the Witching is a dark wood ready to swallow you whole with its tense stakes and beguiling prose. Henderson takes witchcraft to its very depths, unraveling the horrific nightmares of bone-deep ideology and devastating oppression.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series
“A haunting, unique read I couldn't put down—a story that cuts to the heart.”—Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Tempests and Slaughter

The Year of the Witching tells a universal, timeless story about women's power.” O, The Oprah Magazine

"Has a classic setup but updates the olde puritanical tale to deal with issues of racism and sexism."--The Washington Post

“Unique and haunting.” –Ms. Magazine 

The Year of the Witching is a very, very good book. It’s unsettling and horrifying, beautiful and incisive, and ultimately, radiantly triumphant… I was torn between wanting to tear through the chapters as fast as possible to see how things resolved and savoring every sentence.” – Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

The Year of the Witching is Alexis Henderson’s debut novel, but you’d never know it.... The story is enchanting, enticing, enthralling, enigmatic.”–

"A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power, I loved this book. It takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist."– S.A. Chakraborty, National bestselling author of The Daevabad Trilogy
"A dark, dramatic tale of oppression and rebellion, ideology and morality, with a complicated, appealing protagonist caught in a Handmaid's Tale nightmare.”- Louisa Morgan, Author of The Age of Witches
"A masterfully eerie, feminist story that binds itself to the reader’s mind and won’t let go." - Shea Ernshaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep
 “Creepy, compelling, and compulsively readable…blends the terror of the supernatural with the all-too-recognizable human evils of power and dogma.” — Fonda Lee, Award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga 
“Bone-chilling and breathtakingly beautiful…storytelling at its finest." – Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls
“A brutal tale of religion, witchcraft, & patriarchy. The perfect read for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale.” – amanda lovelace, National bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one
“This book will haunt your dreams.”—Christina Henry, National Bestselling author of Alice and The Ghost Tree

SKYE FALLING by Mia McKenzie NOTE: Meeting Online

A Seat at the Table
Sunday, September 17, 3:30 pm

A Seat At The Table Book Group is here to explore the depth of black women within literature. This group is for anyone and everyone who wants to read the works of black women across genre lines.The group is lead by Morgan Harding with Politics and Prose and now meets online on the third Sunday at 3:30pm. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. For info email

Skye Falling: A Novel By Mia McKenzie Cover Image

Skye Falling: A Novel (Paperback)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
3 on hand, as of Dec 5 5:25pm
Politics and Prose at The Wharf (610 Water St SW)
2 on hand, as of Dec 5 2:19pm
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • A woman who’s used to going solo discovers that there’s one relationship she can’t run away from in this “hilarious, electric” (The New York Times) novel, a probing examination of the complexities of family, queerness, race, and community

LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Boston Globe, Autostraddle, Shondaland • “A new kind of love story, the best kind.”—Ashley C. Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

When she was twenty-six and broke, Skye didn’t think twice before selling her eggs and happily pocketing the cash. Now approaching forty, Skye still moves through life entirely—and unrepentantly—on her own terms, living out of a suitcase and avoiding all manner of serious relationships. Maybe her junior high classmates weren’t wrong when they voted her “Most Likely to Be Single” instead of “Most Ride-or-Die Homie,” but at least she’s always been free to do as she pleases.

Then a twelve-year-old girl tracks Skye down during one of her brief visits to her hometown of Philadelphia and informs Skye that she’s “her egg.” Skye’s life is thrown into sharp relief and she decides that it might be time to actually try to have a meaningful relationship with another human being. Spoiler alert: It’s not easy.

Things get even more complicated when Skye realizes that the woman she tried and failed to pick up the other day is the girl’s aunt, and now it’s awkward. All the while, her brother is trying to get in touch, her mother is being bewilderingly kind, and the West Philly pool halls and hoagie shops of her youth have been replaced by hipster cafés.

With its endearingly prickly narrator and a cast of characters willing to both challenge her and catch her when she falls, this novel is a clever, moving portrait of a woman and the relationships she thought she could live without.
Mia McKenzie is the award-winning author of The Summer We Got Free and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous Media, an independent media and education project that centers queer Black women and girls. She lives with her parenting partner and two children in the Happy Valley of Western Massachusetts.
Product Details ISBN: 9781984801623
ISBN-10: 1984801627
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English
“Maybe it’s because we’re coming out of a year of isolation, or maybe it’s because I’ve spent far too much time extremely plugged into social media, or maybe it’s simply because I’m a Gemini, but sometimes, I wake up and crave chaos. I (truly, emphatically, unconditionally) don’t want to be a part of the drama—but I do want to read about something so outrageous, so unexpected, so out of pocket, that I feel as if I am buzzing and I can’t help texting my friends to gossip about it. How lucky I am, then, to have read Mia McKenzie’s hilarious, electric novel, Skye Falling.”The New York Times
“This endearing and hilarious book is an ode to chosen family, soft Philly pretzels, and the people who make us feel at home.”BuzzFeed
“Hilarious, engaging and delightfully ribald.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“One of the truest depictions of modern queer life I’ve read in a while.”BookRiot
“A disenchanted protagonist for the ages.”Bitch Media

“Razor-sharp and outrageously funny, Skye Falling is an absolute winner. Mia McKenzie has created a one-in-a-million heroine in Skye Ellison and has crafted an entirely fresh story about love that charms with curmudgeonly wit and a tender heart.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising

“I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh, cry, and reflect as thoroughly as Skye Falling. Mia McKenzie has written the kind of story I’ve been searching for, and maybe even gave up on as a possibility, and now, suddenly, it’s here. This is a narrative about family, responsibility, and home. It's a new kind of love story, the best kind, and you’ll be turning the pages just as quickly as I did.”—Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody’s Daughter

“Mia McKenzie is writer who can move from heartbreak to laughter in a single paragraph, while brilliantly reinventing queer family and friendship and the ways in which we get stuck and unstuck along the way. When I could manage to put this book down, I looked up from its pages to a world charged with new potential.”—Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby

“What if your most wounded, immature, rude, self-destructive, and antisocial habits were forgotten when a twelve-year-old walked into your life, saying ‘Love me’? This page-turner had me laughing out loud at Skye's acid tongue and thoughts, and yet without abandoning the barbs it unearths—and earns—something like grace. Full of vivid women, each complex and funny as hell, Skye Falling reads like a hot summer jam, and it adds up to a lively, full meal.”—Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of My Broken Language