To Love a Bookstore: “Politics and Prose” in Washington, DC

“Politics and Prose” (informally known as “P&P”) is a fabulous independent bookstore in Washington, DC, located on Connecticut Avenue between VanNess metro station on the Red Line and Chevy Chase Circle. It was established by two wonderful retired ladies: the late Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade. It is our favorite bookstore in DC. When I say our I mean Mary, Adam, Ilya Prizel and Kate Rothko, Karen and Adeed Dawisha, Steve Elkin, Horia Patapievici, Mircea Mihaies, Mircea Cartarescu, Marius Stan, Bogdan C. Iacob, Serban and Andreea Matei, Andres Garcia, Beata Czajkowska, David Scully, Jonathan Olsen, Jennifer Yoder, Jenny Wustenberg, Jonas and Avital Brodin, Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Stacy VanDeveer, Noemi Marin, Anthony Kammas, Jillian Schwedler, Gail Kligman, Maya Latynski, Jacob Weisberg, Alexander Vondra, Suzana Jelokova, Peter Voitsekhovsky, Martin Palous, Jennifer Skulte, Guy Ziv, Michal Zantovsky, Angelo Mitchievici, Ioan Stanomir, and myself.

As Mircea Mihaies once noticed, it is the only case he knew of when a bookstore expanded by moving a liqueur store into the next building. Usually, it is the other way around 🙂 I launched there two books: “Reinventing Politics” and “Fantasies of Salvation.” It is also there that Charles King launched “Odessa: City of Dreams, City of Death.” I should also mention Anne Applebaum, Slavenka Drakulic, Kim Eisner and Judy Sarasohn, Joydeep Bhattacharya, Franklin Foer and his brother, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nelson Polsby, Robert Kaplan, Masha Gessen, and, most recently, Anna Bykont. These are just a few names, trust me. I vividly remember a dinner offered by Carla and David Cohen at “Charlie Chang”s restaurant, in honor of Timothy Garton Ash. I was sick, coughing horribly, just returned from Bratislava. Carla was one of the most vital persons I have met in my whole life. As I had lost my voice, Tim made a joke: “Now we can speak, Vladimir is silent” 🙂  (Photo by Marius Stan)



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