Politics and Prose isn’t your average bookstore. The historic place located on Connecticut Ave. in Northwest Washington, D.C. is not only unique because it’s one of the few independent bookstores still in business, but because they invite the authors of the books they carry to engage in open discussions with the community.
They have numerous events throughout the week where authors come in and discuss their books. One of their many events featured former journalists Dusko Doder and William Beecher.
Both Doder and Beecher have worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe.
Attracting an older crowd of what looked to be about 50 and older; approximately 20-30 people filled the back of the bookstore to hear about the former journalist’s experience in transition from journalism to fiction writing and a brief synopsis of their novels.
After talking about himself for longer than expected, William Beecher briefly described his book Nuclear Revenge, a story about academics overseas who stumble onto an al-Qaeda plot to smuggle dirty bombs into the U.S.
He described the book as a thrilling story line, based on fact.
“I did a lot of research and used the knowledge I’ve gained from years as an international reporter for this book,” said Beecher.
The discussion took a slightly different direction when it was Doder’s time to speak.
He spoke about his book, The Firebird Affair, but focused on the difference between journalism and fiction writing.
“Journalism has its restrictions, you have to stick to the facts,” said Doder. But fiction liberates you from those restraints.”
He explained when writing a fictional novel you could break all the journalism rules and everything you ever learned about ethics can be forgotten.
The discussion ended with a round of applause for both authors. Doder and Beecher stayed to sign books for the audience.
(photo credit: Kiera A. Manison)