Bride of the Sea Follows a Family Across Borders and Decades

Eman Quotah's debut novel is a poet's manuscript—a compelling story that comes alive in its lyricism.

A young marriage disintegrates, even as a beloved daughter is born; then, a shocking betrayal and disappearance followed by decades of rippling repercussions. Bride of the Sea, D.C.-area author Eman Quotah’s debut novel, follows those ripples across decades. It is a fast-paced, beautiful saga of family and identity. It is also a deep, immersive dive […]

I Came As a Shadow Captures the Lasting Legacy of John Thompson Jr.

"I really hope that people who read this understand this was a person who bridged eras in a very remarkable way, who grew up during Jim Crow and then met six presidents."

In the 1980s, John Thompson Jr. and the Georgetown men’s basketball team left a lasting impression on Jesse Washington. Even though Washington lived more than 300 miles away from D.C., in Poughkeepsie, New York, the Hoyas were “a thousand percent” his team. “Wait, let’s just stop. They were every Black kid’s team,” Washington, a senior […]

Everyone Is Suddenly a Home Cook. Bold Fork Books Is Here to Help.

City Paper talks with Clementine Thomas, owner of Bold Fork Books, a new culinary bookstore in Mount Pleasant.

When Clementine Thomas walked into Montreal’s Appetite for Books, a bookstore that sells cookbooks and offers cooking classes, “everything kind of clicked.” She had always loved cookbooks. “It all started percolating then,” she says, “‘What if D.C. had its own space to bring together home cooks, professional cooks, and the authors that are exciting?’ It […]

In No One Asked for This, Cazzie David Is Still Figuring it Out

Larry David's daughter is self-consciously aware that "no one asked" for her debut essay collection, but doesn't do much to justify its existence.

It’s unclear whether Cazzie David actually wants anybody to read her debut essay collection. For starters, it’s called No One Asked for This. “I regret every word I’ve ever said out loud,” the 26-year-old writes in the book’s introduction. In the second of three chapters titled “Tweets I Would Tweet If I Weren’t Morally Opposed […]

Answers in the Form of Questions Is a Dishy, Digestible Guide to Jeopardy!

It can't answer the question of what will happen to the show without its longtime host Alex Trebek, but only because no one knows that yet.

What is Jeopardy!? The answers that prompt that question vary depending on the person and the circumstance. It’s one of the longest-running game shows in American television history. It’s a pop culture icon that’s shown up everywhere from Arthur to Saturday Night Live. It’s a daily 61-question quiz that allows the viewer to test their […]

D.C. Is Full of Crime Fiction Writers, and They Cover More than Capitol Hill

This region is full of crime fiction writers, and they share a unique bond, despite writing about terrible things (and people).

On June 8, 2020, the nominees for the Anthony Awards, one of the biggest international awards for crime fiction, were announced. Approximately a quarter of the nominated writers were based in the District, Maryland, or Virginia, including this author. That’s not an anomaly. Every major award in crime fiction this year, and most years, features […]

Scavenger Is a Survey of Gentrification Dressed Up as a Noir Novel

Christopher Chambers' novel follows an unlikely detective taking on greedy, wealthy villains.

Novels written from the perspective of homeless substance users don’t come along every day. When they do, it’s a good idea to pay attention, since they offer a window into the casual cruelty of our social economy, which much fiction eschews. Christopher Chambers’ new mystery Scavenger offers just such a window. It features homeless survivor-turned-sleuth […]

The Office of Historical Corrections Doesn’t Amend the Record. It Smashes it Open.

Danielle Evans' new collection is a triumph: prescient, intelligent, and thrilling.

Telling the truth about the past—either our personal histories or our collective ones—is harder than it looks, suggests The Office of Historical Corrections, Danielle Evans’ new collection. The book, made up of six short stories and a novella, is not so much a correction to the record as it is a total revision of the […]

Can’t Even Is for Boomers, Not Millennials

The book is a strong response to anyone who calls millennials “lazy,” but its conclusions don’t match its ambitious framing.

The word’s out: Millennials are screwed. (The Huffington Post, New York magazine, The Atlantic, and NPR all agree.) Those unlucky 83 million Americans born over 15 years in the ’80s and ’90s have now weathered two recessions, multiple never-ending wars, and the swift erosion of American hegemony. They’re also, apparently, staring down a new scourge […]

Here’s a Preview of Must-Read Fall Books By Area Authors

"Area writers are putting out some incredible new work this fall that deserves attention."

The weather is starting to cool and the chaos of 2020 continues full steam ahead, whether we like it or not. In times like these, we need good books—to curl up with a cup of tea and immerse ourselves in a different world, in the lives and landscapes of fiction and poetry. It can be […]


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