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Slate's Live at Politics and Prose


Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.

Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.
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Washington, DC




Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.






1350 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 2003 (212) 445-5330


Lisa Halliday: Live at Politics and Prose

Halliday’s debut novel was one of the literary events of the year, earning uniformly rave reviews and a place on innumerable bestseller lists. Now available in paperback, the narrative ingeniously combines two starkly different narratives to give us a startling view of today’s world. The book starts with Alice, a young editor and writer in New York, and her relationship with an older, established novelist, a character based on Philip Roth. In the second section, Halliday turns to Amar, an...


Kiese Laymon: Live at Politics and Prose

Laymon’s novel, Long Division, was named to several Best Of lists in 2013 and his collection of autobiographical essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, showed him as a powerful social and cultural commentator. In his new memoir, he expands on the experiences he discussed in his earlier works, talking bluntly and honestly about growing up with racism, income disparity, addiction, eating disorders, and a complicated mother-son dynamic. Often directly addressing his mother—a...


David W. Blight: Live at Politics

Blight, the award-winning author of histories including American Oracle and Race and Reunion, is perhaps the foremost Frederick Douglass scholar at work today. He’s edited the annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies, and he draws on this close work and on newly discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers and other documents for this definitive biography. An escaped slave, Douglass (1818-1895) became a leading abolitionist, an outstanding orator, and one of the most...


Rebecca Traister: Live at Politics and Prose

Rebecca Traister is one of today’s most powerful feminist voices. She’s written about women in politics, media, popular culture, and at home, exploring the rise of single women in her bestselling All the Single Ladies and the 2008 Democratic primary in Big Girls Don’t Cry. In Good and Mad, she dives deep into the history and value of female rage, reminding us that women’s anger was a force to be reckoned with long before the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement. She tracks the importance...


Casey Gerald: Live at Politics and Prose

Gerald’s extraordinary memoir cuts a swath through a dizzying number of socio-cultural sectors, enacting an American dream that questions the very assumptions behind it. Growing up in Dallas, Gerald was immersed in his grandfather’s evangelical church, a source of stability when his mother’s disability checks could barely support the family. When he was recruited to play football for Yale, Gerald’s life changed. But as he moved up, earning a Harvard MBA, he was shocked by the disparity...


Jose Antonio Vargas: Live at Politics and Prose

An American by choice, Vargas came to the U.S. from the Philippines when he was twelve. He’s lived here for twenty-five years, but his status as undocumented has meant that he’s spent those years feeling unmoored and anxious. He knows no other home but this one, yet can’t feel fully at home in a place where he has to lie to get by. In this eloquent and passionate memoir, Vargas speaks out about the reality of living as an “illegal” immigrant in the U.S. today. A Pulitzer Prize-winning...


Joanne B. Freeman: Live at Politics and Prose

As the national debate over slavery grew more impassioned in the 1840s and 1850s, local brush-fires throughout the nation anticipated the Civil War to come. The halls of Congress, too, saw their share of physical violence, and Freeman, a Yale history professor and cohost of the podcast BackStory, draws on a wide range of sources to document scores of incidents ranging from shouting to shoving matches, fistfights, drawn knives, and even death threats among elected representatives. Her...


Jules Feiffer: Live at Politics and Prose

The finale to Feiffer’s inimitable noir trilogy is grand indeed. Told with Feiffer’s subtly-toned yet irrepressible graphics, this homage to noir that began with Kill My Mother and continued with Cousin Joseph unfolds against a Hollywood backdrop rich with politics, back-stabbers, femme fatales, and more. As this final volume opens, it’s 1953. Tinseltown is haunted by spooks of all sorts, both supernatural and political. The witch hunts are in high gear and Archie Goldman, of Goldman and...


José Andrés: Live at Politics and Prose

Four days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, José Andrés arrived on the island and started to cook. Andrés, whose 29 restaurants have earned him Michelin Stars and two James Beard “Outstanding Chef” awards, dropped everything to feed the people of Puerto Rico as they scrambled to rebuild their infrastructure and economy. Andrés cooked paella in parking lots and served sancocho at a friend’s destroyed restaurant, ultimately feeding hundreds of thousands of people. At the same time, he...


John Kerry: Live at Politics and Prose

John Kerry has devoted his life to public service. Since he testified in front of Congress as a decorated young Vietnam veteran disillusioned with the war, he’s placed himself at the heart of American political life, serving as a five-term Senator and as Barack Obama’s second Secretary of State. Every Day Is Extra is a moving, candid account of his time in politics, and a forceful testimony about the importance of diplomacy, leadership, and collaboration in the face of the myriad challenges...


April Ryan: Live at Politics and Prose

Ryan has been a White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks since the Clinton administration, but with Trump’s arrival she has become part of the story she’s covering. Her new book is both a reporter’s inside view of the unconventional protocol in the Trump White House, with all the Tweets, policy reversals, and sudden personnel changes, and an intimate look at what it’s like to be targeted by Trump, who has repeatedly responded to Ryan’s serious questions about urgent...


Chris Hedges: Live at Politics and Prose

A longtime foreign correspondent, Hedges has reported from more than fifty countries. His latest book is a profound exploration of one of the most troubled: today’s United States. Hedges, author of American Fascists and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, cites the opioid crisis, the increases in gambling and magical thinking, and the explosion of xenophobia as symptoms of a society that has lost hope. He traces this disillusionment to the twin ills of a de facto corporate coup d’état and...


Nick Pyenson: Live at Politics and Prose

Pyenson is a paleontologist and “reading whale bones is what I do,” he says. These bones have told some amazing stories: whales outweigh dinosaurs and are the largest creatures ever to have lived on Earth, and their songs can travel some 900 miles underwater. But while we know whales descended from four-legged land-dwelling animals the size of a dog, we don’t know when and how they developed their tremendous sizes, what’s to stop them from getting still larger, or if they can adapt to...


Teach-In on Gun Control

P&P’s series of teach-ins addressing the most urgent political problems of our day returns with a discussion of gun control in the United States. What are the best ways to prevent further deaths by gun violence in this country? What are the most rapidly attainable ways? What actions are available for private citizens to take, and how can we keep ourselves and our communities safe? Participants will include Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign; Zion Kelly, gun control activist...


Ibtihaj Muhammad: Live at Politics and Prose

From being the only African-American Muslim wearing a hijab in her hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, to being the first veiled American woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics, Muhammad has always stood out, as much for her prodigious talent as for her courage and faith. Though she started fencing at the late age of thirteen, she quickly pushed beyond state and collegiate championships to become a five-time Senior World medalist and Olympic bronze medalist. But her athletic triumphs...


Ottessa Moshfegh: Live at Politics and Prose

The unnamed narrator of Moshfegh’s compelling and unsettling novel is a woman who has everything: looks, a brand-new degree from Columbia, a job at an art gallery, an Upper East Side apartment, and a substantial inheritance. But her fairy-tale existence feels cursed. In 2000, she decides to escape her life by taking enough drugs to sleep through it all for a year. Aside from the psychiatrist who writes the prescriptions, she sees only a college friend and a boyfriend. Her plan works for a...


Terrance Hayes: Live at Politics and Prose

Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these charged sonnets mark “the umpteenth slump / In our humming democracy, a bumble bureaucracy.” Angry, sarcastic, and playful, Hayes explores, reinterprets, and riffs on the meanings of “American,” “assassin,” and “future.” Notable Americans he turns to include James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Toni Morrison, but he also has to reckon with “James Earl Ray Dylann Roof... /…George Zimmerman John Wilkes Booth.” The author of...


Beck Dorey-Stein: Live at Politics and Prose

A self-described political outsider, Dorey-Stein came to the Obama White House via Wesleyan, teaching high school English in Hightstown, New Jersey, and Craigslist. She worked as a White House stenographer from 2012 to 2017, and her memoir engagingly captures her many trips with the presidential entourage, recorder mics in hand. Dorey-Stein also introduces her colleagues, among them the dedicated political insider she fell in love with. Conversational and witty, this compulsively readable...


Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki: Live at Politics and Prose

The Clash was a paradox of revolutionary conviction, musical ambition, and commercial drive. We Are The Clash is a gripping tale of the band's struggle to reinvent itself as George Orwell's 1984 loomed. This bold campaign crashed headlong into a wall of internal contradictions, and rising right-wing power. While the world teetered on the edge of the nuclear abyss, British miners waged a life-or-death strike, and tens of thousands died from US guns in Central America, Clash cofounders Joe...


Abdi Nor Iftin: Live at Politics and Prose

No two immigration experiences are the same, and Iftin’s amazing story of chance, courage, and resilience began years before he came to the U.S. Growing up in Mogadishu, he was five in 1991 when Somalia plunged into civil war. He escaped the hunger and militia attacks temporarily by watching American movies and listening to American pop music. But as he learned English, reinvented himself as "Abdi American,” and reported for NPR, he drew the enmity of the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab...