Politics & Prose: NOT Closing

by MADELEINE STARKEY · August 12, 2010

    Politics & Prose represents what neighborhood bookstore/cafes should be: locally owned, uniquely quirky, resplendently stocked with an erudite selection of literature, oh, and still open.

    Despite constant rumors that the Van Ness/Chevy Chase (DC) staple is to shut its doors, the community favorite will remain open.

    However, what will be changing is ownership.  According to Politics and Prose:

    "Carla and Barbara have decided that after 26 years of bookselling that it is time for us to step down and make room for new ownership from a younger generation. We completed our 2010 fiscal year on June 30th and posted the best sales in our history, a spectacular accomplishment by our large staff of experienced and knowledgeable booksellers who will stay on with a new owner. We are determined to find just the right person or people, so perfect that most customers won't even feel that the ownership has changed.  Because we are committed to finding exactly the right person, nothing is going to happen quickly.  We anticipate that it will be at least nine months before any changes.  So if anyone ever says to you, "Did you hear Politics and Prose is closing?" please help us by setting them straight: POLITICS AND PROSE IS STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE"

    In addition to the community bookstore stronghold Politics and Prose has become over the years, P&P is also renowned for the authors who consistently make stops at the upper Northwest bibliophile destination to speak and share from their works.

    Notably, John McPhee, Rosanne Cash, Chris Palmer, Bret Easton Ellis and  Jim Lehrer have each breezed through Politics and Prose in the past few months.

    Big names in years past include:

    -Jhumpa Lahiri

    -Art Spiegelman

    -Junot Díaz

    To name a few that should speak to anyone, regardless of their literary knowledge.

    photo by Chris Leaman

    Current (but soon to be past) owners Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade (above) are stepping down after 26 years of running the store they started together.  While they have yet to name those who will take over, they acknowledge the process will be a drawn-out one as they strive to find the perfect fit.

    With the recent closing of another DMV indie bookstore fave, Olsson's Books, the fact that Politics and Prose will not suffer the same fate allows DC bookworms to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

    John McPhee signs "Silk Parachute"

    Henry Winkler reads from "A Brand New Me!"

    [photos via & via]