D.C. by the Book Launch Party

The nation’s capital has served as the backdrop for many books, particularly non-fiction work on current events and biographies. But not only… our streets, monuments and landmarks have been featured in many fiction novels as well. These novels set in D.C. are the focus of a new interactive digital project that attempts to map out the literary fabric of the city. 



D.C. By The Book is the brainchild of Tony Ross, a D.C. native and administrative librarian for neighborhood libraries with the D.C. public library system. The website is officially launching this Wednesday, March 27th (6-8PM) at the Busboys and Poets on 5th & K. Laptop “exploration stations” will let people try out the interactive maps as well as upload content from their own reads. Mark Athitakis will MC the evening, which will feature several  authors who have used the district as a backdrop in their novels, including George Pelecanos (the DC native’s detective fiction is pretty much entirely set in the District, though you might know him from his work on The Wire and Treme as well),Thomas Mallon (Watergate), Ann McLaughlin (The House on Q Street) and Adam McKible (who found EC Williams’ lost Harlem renaissance novel When Washington Was in Vogue.) 

In my head, I can’t help but imagine what a project like that would be for Paris (other than simply amazing bien sur). Anyway, I’ll be at the launch on Wednesday (and most likely at Mandu beforehand for their fabulous happy hour) to support some old friends who are involved in the project  and I hope to see you there. In the meantime, do you have a favourite novel set in the district? Please do share in the comments…

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