Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chapter 24: In Memoriam

Just got the email from Politics and Prose bookstore that Carla F. Cohen had died. As a former D.C. resident and patron of the store, I have to show my appreciation for her decades-long work. Politics and Prose is the place to go in D.C. for good books, good food, open mic poetry and high-quality reading. This is thanks to its dedicated management. The literary world runs on enthusiastic independent booksellers like Carla Cohen.

My favorite memory: Mrs. Cohen intoduced Jhumpa Lahiri at her reading for Unaccustomed Earth which, like many P&P events, had to rent out a larger space. In this case, a synagogue. She was so happy to introduce Jhumpa and lavished grandmotherly praise on her. In answer to the final Q&A question, Jhumpa compared her stories to a casserole, blending together different elements and ideas. Mrs. Cohen then said that the pieces in Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth came out far better than any casserole dinner she ever made.

She was an extremely accomplished person who lived a full life, having success in many different arenas. This website goes into more detail on her life and legacy:

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