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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


Nikki Giovanni: Live at Politics and Prose

From her work in the 1960s with the Black Arts Movement and SNCC to her iconic status in today’s hip-hop community, Giovanni has been a vital public presence for more than four decades. Her many accomplishments as an activist, educator, and one of the country’s most inspiring poets, have earned her honors including the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award and a place on Oprah Winfrey’s list of twenty-five “Living Legends.” Giovanni has published more than two dozen books, and her latest...

Duration: 01:06:24

Khizr Khan: Live at Politics and Prose

Khan came to national prominence with his passionate speech at the Democratic Convention, where he chastised Trump for his anti-immigration stand. As the Gold Star father of an American Muslim Army Captain killed while preventing a suicide attack in Iraq, Khan is a living rebuke to xenophobia in mainstream politics, and his memoir is an inspiring look at the American dream. Expressing his “continued faith and belief in the innate goodness of America, even in these challenging times,” Khan...

Duration: 01:18:47

Caitlin Doughty: Live at Politics and Prose

Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, was a funny and irresistible account of her experiences working in a crematorium. The job was a life-changer: Doughty now runs a nonprofit funeral home in Los Angeles and hosts the web series “Ask a Mortician.” Her second book is a fascinating catalog of funeral rituals and burial practices from around the world. Visiting Indonesia, Doughty reports on a family that dresses and cleans their grandfather’s mummified body—two years after the man’s...

Duration: 01:05:04

Colin Dickey: Live at Politics and Prose

Whether or not the Salem witch hunts found any real witches, the story itself still gives us chills. Tourists flock to Salem, hoping to see—what, exactly? That’s one of the questions Dickey explores in this intriguing tour of some of the nation’s haunted places. Guiding us through haunted houses, institutions, and ghost towns around the country, Dickey, co-editor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology, lays out the facts about the various strange goings-on and, more importantly, notes how the...

Duration: 00:54:06

Eileen Myles: Live at Politics and Prose

One of today’s most innovative writers, Myles is the award-winning author of more than twenty books, including the novel Chelsea Girls and I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014. Combining memoir, fantasy, and an extraordinary empathy that leaps species boundaries, Myles’s latest book is a bittersweet memoir of Rosie, a pit bull that shared Myles’s life for sixteen years. As Myles looks back on the literature the two created together, the walks they took, and channels...

Duration: 00:48:58

Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding: Live at Politics and Prose

The results of last year’s election turned what should have been a groundbreaking moment for women into a time of anger and resurgent intolerance and misogyny. Women themselves are deeply divided: 53% of white women voted for Trump while 94% of black women voted for Hillary. Yet women must bridge these differences and work together in order to move ahead and enact permanent change. This collection of essays by writers including Cheryl Strayed, Rebecca Solnit, Jessica Valenti, and Katha...

Duration: 00:59:24

David Litt: Live at Politics and Prose

Litt worked at the White House from 2011 to 2016, leaving as a special assistant to President Obama and senior presidential speechwriter—the youngest in history. He supplied remarks on the major issues of the day, but his focus was humor and his job might more accurately be termed “comic muse to the president.” Now the head writer/producer for Funny or Die’s D.C. office, LItt contributed jokes to Obama’s speeches as early as 2009 and was the lead writer on four White House Correspondents’...

Duration: 00:46:24

Claire Messud: Live at Politics and Prose

Messud’s sixth novel, The Burning Goal, is the story of Cassie and Julia, best friends from nursery school until seventh grade. For Julia, who narrates their experiences, the two are as close as sisters, though their families fail to mesh and the differences between them grow more apparent over time. Without Julia to set limits and question plans, Cassie veers into potentially dangerous emotional territory, especially when she decides to track down her father, and Julia begins to see how...

Duration: 00:52:37

Danielle Allen: Live at Politics and Prose

Michael Alexander Allen was arrested at age fifteen, served eleven years of a thirteen-year sentence for attempted carjacking, and was found shot to death three years after his release. He was Danielle Allen’s cousin, and she grew up with him, supported him, and encouraged him to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and a firefighter. His death was a shock, and in her powerful memoir Allen, the James Conant Bryant University Professor at Harvard and author of the award-winning Our...

Duration: 00:55:24

Zoë Quinn: Live at Politics and Prose

Quinn, featured in Forbes 30 under 30 and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, is among the most prominent indie developers in the gaming industry. When she released Depression Quest in 2013, the game was met with acclaim as well as hate mail. The online abuse intensified, and by August 2014, Quinn and several other women video game creators were the targets of relentless harassment, including rape and death threats. Quinn, who has testified at the United Nations about...

Duration: 00:47:42

Mark Bowden: Live at Politics and Prose

Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, was the country’s third-largest city in 1968 when it became the center of the Tet Offensive. The North Vietnamese stormed Hue from hidden outposts, surprising and then overwhelming American and South Vietnamese forces. The fight lasted twenty-four days and the 10,000 killed there made it the bloodiest battle of the war. It also definitively turned the tide against the U.S. Bowden’s comprehensive account vividly captures each stage of the action from...

Duration: 01:09:48

Haroon Moghul: Live at Politics and Prose

Moghul became a public presence in the wake of 9/11, speaking out as an undergraduate leader at NYU’s Islamic Center. He was only just beginning to work out his personal relationship to Islam, and his memoir traces his struggle to come to terms with a faith he had long felt ambivalent about. Growing up, Moghul, a second-generation immigrant, wanted a typical American childhood. But his was complicated by encounters with anti-Muslim bias, bouts of depression, and his own reservations about...

Duration: 01:00:32

Ibram X. Kendi: Live at Politics and Prose

Kendi’s National Book Award-winning study argues that racism in America has grown from deliberate policies rather than from emotional responses like fear or hatred. Starting with the Puritans, Kendi traces the development of racist ideas and their effect on racist practices through the lives of five thinkers, discussing Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Angela Davis. Within these profiles Kendi, professor of history and international studies at...

Duration: 01:04:51

Tom Perrotta: Live at Politics and Prose

Perrotta’s seventh novel tells the dual coming-of-age stories of Eve Fletcher and her son. Eve, executive director of a senior center, adjusts to her empty nest and tests the limits of her new freedom by taking a course on gender. But she’s more interested in porn websites and may even have attracted a cyberstalker. Meanwhile her son Brendan, a freshman, is jolted by the reality of a college life that’s less indulgent of his privileged attitudes than he had anticipated. As the two struggle...

Duration: 01:00:17

Tracy Crow and Jerri Bell : Live at Politics and Prose

Women have officially been allowed to serve in the military since 1917, but they’ve fought in America’s wars since the Revolution. In this illuminating anthology of women’s writings about their experiences in war, editors Bell, a retired naval officer and the managing editor of O-Dark-Thirty, and Crow, a former Marine Corps officer and the author of Eyes Right, present a wide range of excerpts from diaries, letters, oral histories, pension depositions, and published and unpublished...

Duration: 00:58:40

Ann Hornaday : Live at Politics and Prose

To get the most out of a film, Hornaday argues, viewers need to be as actively engaged in watching it as the filmmakers were in creating it. Film critic for The Washington Post, Hornaday guides us through the movie-making process and shows how to break down a film into its seven fundamental parts. For each component—screenplay, acting, production design, cinematography, editing, sound and music, and direction—she suggests key questions to ask and draws examples from a wide range of classic...

Duration: 01:07:02

Angela J. Davis: Live at Politics and Prose

This timely and important collection of essays by writers including Bryan Stevenson, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Jeremy Travis, examines the role of racism in the country’s criminal justice system and reports on the recent killings of black men and boys by police. Edited by Angela J. Davis, a long-time civil rights activist, advocate for prison inmates, professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law, and author of Arbitrary Justice, the book discusses issues such as racial...

Duration: 01:06:49

Matthew Klam: Live at Politics and Prose

Klam won awards, acclaim, and a spot on The New Yorker’s “Twenty Best Fiction Writers in America under 40” list for Sam the Cat, his nervy, ironic debut collection of seven long stories. Coming sixteen years later, his first novel is a richly evocative study of passion and family as well as a sharply satirical look at today’s mass-consumer society. Unfolding during an artists’ conference at a seaside getaway, the story focuses on Rich and Amy, a cartoonist and student of narrative...

Duration: 00:53:16

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